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Dak Prescott was playing for his future. That future looks to be in serious doubt. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback suffered a gruesome ankle injury Sunday when he was tackled on a running play against the New York Giants. Prescott, who couldn’t agree on a long-term deal with the Cowboys this offseason, showed why NFL players hold out during contract disputes.

Dak Prescott suffers significant injury

On the day Alex Smith returned from a devastating leg injury, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered one. Prescott was tackled on a routine running play and immediately pointed for the trainer when his ankle was clearly bent the wrong way. Prescott was carted off the field and, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, was to undergo surgery Sunday night.

Prescott’s injury immediately triggered flashbacks of gruesome injuries to quarterbacks Smith and Joe Theismann. Ironically, Smith returned to action for the first time since Nov. 18, 2018, when he broke his leg in a game against the Houston Texans. Smith underwent 17 surgeries before getting back on the field Sunday.

Prescott was in tears as he was carted off the field. He was immediately taken to a local hospital and was scheduled to have surgery. The Cowboys outlasted the winless New York Giants 34-31 to improve to 2-3.

Dak Prescott was working his way to a long-term deal

While Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys failed to come to a long-term contract extension this year, he was playing his way into earning one. If the Cowboys weren’t willing to pay him, someone else would have. Now his football future, at least his near future, appears in serious doubt.

This was the year of the significant quarterback extensions. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes inked a record-setting deal that potentially could be worth a half-billion dollars. The Houston Texans also re-signed their franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson, to a four-year deal worth $160 million.

While Prescott didn’t sign a deal, he was putting up significant numbers that would have warranted one. Through four games this season, Prescott was leading the league in passing yardage with 1,690 and also threw nine touchdown passes. He threw for 450 yards or better in his last three games and has completed better than 68% of his passes.

Prescott’s injury shows why NFL players hold out


Dak Prescott Makes a Point Every Time He Scores a Touchdown

When former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell held out for the entire 2018 season in a contract dispute, he was labeled selfish. He took a lot of abuse from fans. When former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas fractured his leg while playing for a contract, he was told he should’ve held out. Such is the life on an NFL player.

When Thomas was carted off the field with a fractured leg during a 2018 game against the Arizona Cardinals, he had a word (technically a finger) for his team. The Seahawks didn’t sign him to an extension prior to the season and he wasn’t too happy about it. Thomas was put in a tough position. Play and risk injury or hold out and get nothing? He played and suffered a season-ending injury, crushing hopes of a long-term deal.

Bell did the opposite and held out. He took a lot of heat for doing so, hurting his teammates and getting the “selfish” label. When Thomas was injured, Bell chimed in on a Twitter post by writing, “Get right bro. I’ll continue to be the bad guy for ALL of us.” Prescott could have held out. He elected to go the Thomas route and suffered the same fate.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.