INDIANAPOLIS — Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott underwent surgery this offseason, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy announced Tuesday.
It wasn’t his mid-season calf injury, surgically repaired ankle or training camp that caused him to pull a shoulder.
Instead, the Cowboys franchise quarterback, worth $40 million a year, underwent surgery to clean out his non-throwing shoulder, McCarthy said. The surgery was performed on February 22, two people with knowledge of the procedure confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss medical information.
“That’s not a concern,” McCarthy said. “He is fine.”
McCarthy said he doesn’t expect the procedure to limit Prescott in spring activities. But the shoulder was bothering Prescott even when he was sleeping, so he took care of it.
McCarthy pointed out that the operated shoulder was Prescott’s non-throwing left shoulder. He refused to blame late-season issues on injury despite a streak in which the Cowboys were statistically productive — particularly against two NFC East teams, the Commanders and Eagles, who allowed more than 50 points to Dallas – but rhythmically lower than their early 2021 form.
“I don’t think so,” McCarthy said. “He trained hard throughout. It was just something he wanted to do. »
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Prescott completed 68.8 percent of passes for 37 touchdowns on 10 interceptions while guiding the Cowboys to 11 wins in 16 starts. He missed the Cowboys’ Oct. 31 win at Minnesota after suffering a calf injury.
The Cowboys signed Prescott to a four-year, $160 million extension last March before he had even recovered from his two ankle surgeries.
Prescott’s ankle needs routine maintenance, but no other intensive care.
A preseason latissimus strain in his throwing shoulder prompted a training camp stoppage but no in-season restrictions, with Prescott returning from 11 months off to throw for 403 yards and three touchdowns in a loss in season opener in Tampa Bay.
Questions swirl around this free agency about starters, including catcher Amari Cooper, who Dallas could release by March 20 with minimal financial consequences.
But for the first time in four offseasons, no quarterback negotiations need to take place. The Cowboys and Prescott can each build toward 2022 success with long-term assurance.
“Seriously, it’s great to not have to just focus on (Prescott),” Cowboys executive vice-president Stephen Jones said Monday from the combine. “I’m sure he feels the same, that the spotlight isn’t on him. But it gives you the big picture, what we’re going to do with this roster.
Prescott recently told USA TODAY Sports that he hopes he can “help the team make decisions” and that he’s “pretty sure my opinion will be appreciated.” Retaining the three Cowboys coordinators in 2022 helps shed light on the best next steps.
“Continuity,” Prescott told USA Today Sports. “Just another year for me to grow in the system with (offensive coordinator) Kellen (Moore) and improve. And not just the two of us, but the young guys around, the young guys who haven’t had a year in this offense, whether it’s the offensive line or whoever.
“I think that even if it benefits me, it only benefits the attack in general and the structure and culture of the team. We were lucky to get through the coaching changes keeping the CO and the DC.
“It brings a lot of excitement, I know, to the building.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.