DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott revealed he is vaccinated from COVID-19 -- but still defended the unvaccinated status of receiver Amari Cooper following the team's 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Cooper missed the game due to testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Because he is unvaccinated, the Pro Bowl receiver is subject to a 10-day quarantine, even if he is asymptomatic, which will automatically disqualify him for Cowboys' game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day at AT&T Stadium.
Despite the Cowboys offense generating an anemic 276 total yards on Sunday, Prescott would not lay the blame upon Cooper, nor would he assign future blame on his teammate for any persisting offensive dysfunction against the Raiders.
"I mean, it’s unfortunate not having him," said Prescott, who went 28-43 for 216 yards and two interceptions. "To say the decision he made — I mean I’m vaccinated and I could get it and be out two games. Let’s try not to knock the guy or put the guy down for a personal decision. I don’t think there’s anybody that comes back in under 10 days. You give me that stat on guys that are either vaccinated or unvaccinated coming back faster than that time and tested out, then okay, we’ll go from there."
An example of a vaccinated player from Week 11 who came back in under 10 days was Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The two-time Super Bowl champion was added to the COVID-19 reserve on Nov. 15, but tested negative on Nov. 20 and was able to play on that Sunday night at the Los Angeles Chargers.
According to Sharp Football Analysis, the Cowboys have had four players who tested positive and were able to rejoin the team in less than 10 days.
Prescott's admission that he is vaccinated is a departure from earlier comments made on July 23 at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., when the two-time Pro Bowler cited HIPAA as a reason to not broach the subject about Ezekiel Elliott, who was forthcoming with his own vaccination status.
"I don’t necessarily think that’s exactly important," said Prescott earlier in the year. "I think that’s HIPAA. But I understand where Zeke comes from. I underst/article/news/verify/verify-no-hipaa-does-not-prevent-dak-prescott-from-disclosing-his-covid-19-vaccination-status/287-df63f751-b985-4291-ba63-2d48a676ea16and everybody’s opinion and I think everybody has that right. We wouldn’t live in this country, and we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in, if that wasn’t the case."
Just as Prescott supported Elliott in training camp for being pro-vaccine, the former 2016 fourth-round pick is steadfast in supporting Cooper.
"That’s my teammate, that’s my brother, we’re going to support him, that’s his decision, as I said way back in training camp when you guys asked me this question," Prescott said. "Unfortunately, we don’t have him, but I know he’ll come back and be beneficial for us late in the season.”
Dallas fell to 7-3 on the season. While the Cowboys are in command of the NFC East, they are slated to be the No. 3 seed if the playoffs started today, and each loss impedes their quest for the No. 1 seed, which possesses the NFC's only postseason bye week.
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