Dak is back: Cowboys QB says he will start Sun.

Dak is back: Cowboys QB says he will start Sun.

FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott is back.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback says he will start Sunday against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium after completing a full practice Thursday for the first time since fracturing his right thumb in the opener of the season.

He even gave the thumbs up for the cameras at the end of his media session.

“I did it all. I wasn’t limited in any way,” Prescott said. “There was no pitch count. I think I threw about 140 balls, something like that. I just made it up, but there was no pitch count. I was thoroughly.”

Prescott has missed the last five games after having surgery. Cooper Rush went 4-1 in Prescott’s absence to keep the Cowboys’ season afloat.

After throwing about 50 passes before last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Prescott enjoyed a day of regeneration on Monday and was back on the court Tuesday, the players’ day off. After Wednesday’s visit, he was held to a 40-pass session with the perimeter players. Coach Mike McCarthy said Prescott was looking “really good” and pitching would increase Thursday and Friday.

What did it look like in practice?

“Like Dak,” wide receiver CeeDee Lamb said. “He is back.”

With Prescott back, the Cowboys believe their offensive production will improve while focusing on a running game featuring Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.

“I think running the game makes it a little bit easier. Even though it might not be as effective, you still wear that defense,” Elliott said. “You always create shots to the body and then you impact the game and make the play-action work. I think it’s important for us to keep attacking the defenses on the ground. Why not? You you have two great fullbacks and a good O-line, so why don’t you make it easy for Dak?”

Prescott said he could wear KT Tape on his thumb, but was considering taking it off in practice and could do without it on Sunday. He said he would continue to take steps to help the thumb before and after practices and games.

“I’m not just going to act like I didn’t have a broken bone a few weeks ago,” Prescott said. “I’m still going to do some things, but for the most part I’m healthy. It feels good. I caught the ball. The ball is comfortable in my hand. My grip is great. Honestly, I put it behind me and I’m just focusing on that game plan.”

Prescott’s impending return gave the Cowboys an emotional boost.

“No. 1, his leadership ability, his personality is top notch, off the charts,” McCarthy said. “So I mean the energy was definitely felt. Anyone who knows Dak or has been a teammate of his understands the energy he brings every day.”

For McCarthy, “pace and timing” are what he looks for most when a quarterback returns from a weeks-long absence.

“It’s a challenge to capture that in such a short time. There’s no doubt about it,” McCarthy said. “But I think that’s why it’s really important to cap the workload, because Lord knows he would throw 140 [Wednesday] if you let him. We just have to be smart about it and trust the medical process that he’s going through.”

Elliott saw no problems in practice.

“Today he looked really good. Today the pace was really good,” Elliott said. “He doesn’t look like he missed a beat.”

Prescott thinks watching the past five weeks will help him and the team.

“A lot of things that I wouldn’t necessarily share, but I know it’s going to help me and help this team move forward, help some players, stay ahead of the communication aspect, that whether it’s with the players, whether it’s with the coaches, communicating with the defense as a team, making sure they stick together, understanding that we’re in this together,” Prescott said.

“Yes, I learned a lot. As disappointing as it was, it was really, really fun and a great time for me to grow and learn more about this team that honestly I hadn’t been able to see from this point of view. To be injured before [in 2020], I was gone when I hurt my ankle, right? I wasn’t necessarily there to try to make it right.

“Being here during this period, not missing anything, seeing the game, seeing how everything is going, I think it will be huge going forward.”

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