FRISCO — Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones has updated fans Tuesday on the condition of Dak Prescott, and according to the the medical information that he’s received he said the star quarterback should be “as good as gold” by the spring of 2021.

“If you look ahead he should be ready to go for our spring work and the latter part of the spring work,” Jones said. “Knowing Dak and his makeup, he’ll be back out there soon.”

Prescott returned to his home in Prosper on Monday to find that neighbors had set up a huge get well sign in his yard. The 27-year-old quarterback had surgery Sunday night to repair a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that occurred during the game earlier that afternoon.

Jones was downright despondent after watching Prescott go down in the third quarter of Cowboys’ 37-34 victory against the New York Giants. But 48 hours later Jones was buoyed by the doctors’ reports, and was already optimistically plotting Prescott’s return.

“Physically, I’m told by the doctors, (and) by our own experience of seeing this injury, physically there should be no problem with him being back out there in early May or April,” Jones said. “This one of those that you can mend and come back and be as good as gold.”

But exactly when Prescott returns will be determined by the progress he makes during his rehab and recovery.

For his part, Jones has one directive for the coaching staff when Prescott does return. He wants them to limit the called quarterback runs to minimize the injury risk to Prescott.

Regarding Prescott’s future, Jones echoed the words of team vice president Stephen Jones when he said injury does not alter his conviction about Prescott being the face of the future of the Cowboys.

“We’ve known for a long time that you can have a great player at this spot, but then not have him at periods of time during his career,” Jones said. We had it with (Troy) Aikman. We had it with (Tony) Romo. You don’t always have them. So, you’ve got to rely on other parts of your team. We do not and do not go into a contract negotiation with the idea that it stands alone. It has to be a part of your tools which you have, which is your salary cap to put a team on the field and try to figure out the best way to win. And really that’s the underlying issue here.”

The contract issue is still part of the equation when it comes to Prescott’s future.

He played the 2020 season under the one-year franchise tag of $31.4 million because he was unable to reach a long-term contract extension with the Cowboys. Prescott will be a free agent after the season.

And while there is the expectation that the Cowboys will at least apply the franchise tag on him again to retain his services in 2021 at the price of $38 million, the unknowns of his injury and recovery make the future somewhat uncertain.

Many critics, including ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, are blaming Jones for not already securing his services with a long-term deal and putting Prescott’s future in a vulnerable state.

“This is what I was talking about when I wanted him to get his money. That long-term deal that somehow, someway couldn’t be worked out,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “Time and time and time again he was called upon to prove himself even though he had been proving himself years ago.”

“And now, yeah he got his money for this season, but what about his future? This is exactly what I feared”

The Cowboys owner said it’s simply the business of the game.

“I think that we’ve got to be reminded that to have a team that we’ve got to really manage how we dole out our resources,” Jones said. “Dak is deserving of anything you want to put on a piece of paper, relatively speaking. He’s deserving of that, and he’s, if you evaluate what he can do to help us win championships, you can see that it’s there. Plus, he’s a leader at the premier leader spot. We’ve got to make it work.

“So, what am I saying? I’m saying exactly the same thing that I said the last time we asked about this before the season started. Part of the game is the business and the contract part.”

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

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