After the Cowboys announced Saturday that an MRI revealed that starting quarterback Tony Romo has a broken bone in his back, it’s expected that Prescott, a former Mississippi State star who was named as the team’s backup earlier this week, will fill the void as the team’s starter.
CBS Sports first reported that Romo is expected to miss 6-10 weeks while recovering from a compression fracture of his L1 vertebra.
“We’re going to monitor his condition day by day and we’ll see how he feels going forward,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “There’s no timeframe when he’s going to return.”
Romo was injured during the team’s first series of its 27-17 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril delivered the hit to Romo’s back as he tried sliding after taking off running with the ball.
After a few minutes on the ground, Romo eventually walked off the field and tried to return to the game, but Garrett prevented his return for precautionary reasons.
Following the game, Romo did not sound overly worried about the injury.
"In a weird way I feel good about the fact that was probably as tough of a hit I took on the back as I've had in the last five years,” Romo said. “In that regard I feel very lucky that it could hold up and keep going."
For Prescott, a starting role would be an unexpected twist for a rookie drafted in the fourth round in April’s NFL Draft. He first moved up to the backup role after Kellen Moore broke his right fibula near the start of training camp earlier this month. Since the move up the depth chart, he has taken many of the first-team reps in practices while Romo has sat out to rest.
In three preseason games, Prescott ranks first in the league in passing yards (454), touchdowns (5), completion percentage (78.0 percent) and quarterback rating (137.8). He also has thrown no interceptions and has ran for two touchdowns.
Prescott’s preseason play has even caught the attention of his teammates.
Jason Witten, a likely future Hall of Fame tight end, was complimentary of the rookie on Thursday after catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Prescott against the Seahawks.
“He’s a rookie, but he doesn’t act like one,” Witten said. “More importantly, he doesn’t play like one. He comes on the road, a good opponent (and) Coach Garrett always talks about you never know when that opportunity is going to come.”
Prescott, who at least by sheer passing statistics is the best quarterback in Mississippi State history, appears to be on the brink of seeing a childhood dream come true. He said after the Cowboys’ second preseason game last week that he “grew up a ‘Boys fan.”
(You can follow Tony Smith on Twitter @1010xlfattony)
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