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NFL World Reacts To Dak Prescott Return Date News

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott after Sunday's game

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after losing to the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys have shared optimistic timelines for Dak Prescott's return and bet on a quick recovery by not placing him on the injured reserve.

Despite the organization's signals, his return is reportedly not imminent.

On Sunday's NFL GameDay, Ian Rapoport said that Week 6 is the earliest he will play.

"He is still focusing on getting the swelling down. Then he has to work on how well he can grip a football," Rapoport said. "Simply guys, the bone has to heal, and the Cowboys are not going to put their franchise quarterback in harm's way."

Fans questioned Dallas not placing Prescott on the IR and wondered if he'd even be fully healthy in time to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 16.

Earlier this week, Jerry Jones left the door open for Prescott returning in Week 4 or 5. Yet playing in Week 6 would still beat the initial six-to-eight week recovery timetable reported when he fractured his right throwing thumb on Sept. 11.

Rushing back Prescott wouldn't make much sense, especially after Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. They'll understandably want their star quarterback available for a pivotal NFC East showdown with the Eagles.

The Cowboys must first face the New York Giants without Prescott on Monday Night Football. If Rapoport's timeline is accurate, he'll also miss their upcoming games against the Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Rams.