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Dak Prescott needed immediate surgery after a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in an Oct. 11 game against the Giants. He needed a second surgery in December.

“So the second surgery was something that was thought upon that might have to happen when the first surgery happened,” Prescott said Wednesday. “Obviously, the first surgery, with an open wound, you want to get that and eliminate any risk of infection. That’s all that was for the most part. We got a month or so down the road and said, ‘You know it would be best if we went in there and did do that now.’ As Mr. [Jerry] Jones has said, 10 years, 15 years, I can still be playing still, right, and not have to deal with something or have something bothering for eight years or whatever [before another surgery]. . . . We might as well knock it down and get it straight now, while I’m already missing games; I’m already missing time. That was obviously the thought behind that, and that’s what happened. It was needed. I feel great.”

Prescott’s two surgeries are 15 fewer than Alex Smith underwent, and Prescott is expected to return in less than a year rather than the nearly two years it took for doctors to clear Smith.

Prescott brought up Smith unprompted after being asked whether his injury made him wonder about his future. Others may have questioned whether Prescott could return to as good as new; he insists he never did.

“Even sitting there, holding my leg or whatever on the field, trying to put it back into place, or later on being in the hospital and waking up from surgery, that’s just what God’s thrown at me,” Prescott said. “If you’ve known my life, if you’ve known my story, whatever circumstance that is, I’m going to take it with a smile and be thankful that God has put me in this position to overcome it, to be an example to others. So never in a million years [did he think his career was finished].

“And I have to thank, honestly, Alex Smith. Because at that moment when you’re sitting there and you have an injury like that or you come out of surgery, to see somebody who’s already done it and did it actually in worse circumstances, that allowed my mind just to go to straight, ‘Hey, I can do this. I’m going to beat this. It’s just a matter of time. What are the doctors saying? But I’m going to beat this.’ So I have to thank Alex for somebody who’s overcome that and won Comeback Player of the Year, and congrats to him.”

Now, Prescott gets his chance to win Comeback Player of the Year in 2021. He was leading the league in passing yards last season when he went on injured reserve.