A week after Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury in Week 5, the franchise signal-caller is already thinking about beating his timetable for a return.

Prescott, who underwent surgery last Sunday night to repair a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, is already on the road to recovery. While it’s a long road ahead for the star passer, he is reportedly already working towards a return.

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When will Dak Prescott return?

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott carted off with ankle injury
Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) leaves the field with an injury in the third quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Playing under the franchise tag this season, Prescott hoped to deliver another monster performance on his way to a multi-year contract. Unfortunately, everything came apart against the New York Giants when his leg caught underneath him and he suffered the gruesome ankle injury.

The Cowboys rushed their star quarterback to a local hospital immediately, where he underwent surgery within hours to address the compound fracture. As we saw with Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith, a compound fracture opens the risk of infection and that can put a person’s life and health in jeopardy. Fortunately, Prescott seems to have avoided the biggest potential setback.

“Doctors have told Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, he is facing a four-to-six month recovery after undergoing surgery last Sunday for a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle,” Tom Pelissero said on NFL GameDay Morning. “One person with knowledge of the surgery told me it was clean, there was nothing unexpected. In fact, Dak has already told people he believes he can beat that four-to-six month timetable.”

A four-to-six month timetable would put Prescott on track to be cleared for football activities in April or May. In an ideal scenario, assuming the NFL doesn’t experience a coronavirus-impacted offseason, that would give him plenty of time to be ready for training camp.

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Of course, Prescott’s long-term future in Dallas would still be uncertain. He is eligible to become a free agent this offseason and would attract interest from plenty of teams, even after suffering this kind of injury. However, the Cowboys reportedly have no intention to let him leave.

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The likeliest scenario might be another franchise tag. Placing the tag on Prescott for a second time would result in him being owed $37 million for the 2021 season on a one-year deal. It might be the preferred outcome for both sides. Prescott would secure $37 million and have the chance to prove himself once again, while the Cowboys avoided a long-term commitment until they see him play after the surgery.

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Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick