Should the Cowboys rest Dak Prescott in Week 18 after apparent injury?

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys. (Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys. (Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /

It appears that Dak Prescott suffered an injury in Week 17; with the playoffs near, should the Cowboys rest him for the season’s final game?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott may have hyperextended his knee in Dallas’ Thursday night win over the Tennesee Titans.

During a Friday appearance on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones discussed Prescott’s condition. When asked about the injury, Jones stated:

"“He’s in good shape. He might have hyperextended it a little bit. We were checking with the sideline and we knew he was going to be good.”"

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy also spoke about the injury on Friday.

"“I don’t have any concern about Dak moving forward.”"

Should the Cowboys rest Dak Prescott?

While it is good news for Dallas that Prescott’s injury is not a concern, perhaps they should rest him for the season’s final game instead of risking further damage.

The Cowboys, who are the NFC’s fifth seed, have already clinched their playoff spot.

Prescott’s knee injury is not his first this season. He suffered a thumb injury in Week 1 and would return to the field in Week 7.

In Prescott’s absence, the Cowboys turned to backup quarterback Cooper Rush, who made his first of the season in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Rush won four of the five games he started this season. After defeating the Bengals in Week 2, he defeated the New York Giants, Washington Commanders, and the Los Angeles Rams. His only loss came against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rush threw for 956 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions in the games he started. In total, he has 1,051 passing yards on the season.

If the Cowboys decide to rest Prescott, they have a proven backup in Rush to take over.

Despite missing five games, Prescott has recorded 2,732 passing yards (17th overall) and 22 touchdowns and has the second-highest completion percentage with 69.2 percent. Prescott is also averaging 7.7 yards per pass thrown, sixth overall.

The Cowboys have advanced to the playoffs three times since Prescott became the starting quarterback in 2016, with their fourth trip coming. In 2016, they lost to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. They returned to the postseason in 2018, where they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round before losing again in the divisional round, this time to the Los Angeles Rams. In 2021, the Cowboys returned to the playoffs but were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round.

While the Dallas Cowboys do not have tons of playoff success with Dak Prescott, they need him if they hope to advance further than they have in previous seasons, and while Cooper Rush has proven he can win, Prescott is the better choice for Dallas. Perhaps sitting him for the final game of the season is not a bad idea; they need him healthy and should not want to risk further injury.

The Dallas Cowboys will face the Washington Commanders to close their 2022 regular season in Week 18.

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