A heartbreaking scene unfolded on Sunday afternoon when Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott broke down in tears after suffering a gruesome injury to his ankle.
The injury happened as the 27-year-old was tackled by Logan Ryan late into the third quarter of Dallas' game against the New York Giants. After hitting the ground, Dak immediately grabbed his lower leg and pointed to his awkwardly bent right ankle. He was shown in tears as he left the field on a cart.
According to the Cowboys' website, Dak suffered a "right ankle compound fracture and dislocation" and underwent successful surgery on Sunday night. He was released from the hospital on Monday and it was unclear how long he'll be out.
"We are all heartbroken for Dak and this very disappointing injury," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "The outpouring of messages that I have received regarding his setback speaks volumes to the respect and admiration that he has earned from his teammates, former Cowboys players and Cowboys supporters everywhere."
Dak recently earned praise after speaking out about the importance of mental health following the loss of his brother, Jace, who died by suicide earlier this year. Jones alluded to the ordeal while speaking of his quarterback.
"I know the personal hardship and strife that he has faced, dealt with and overcome in his young life," Jones said. "And I know of no one who is more prepared, from the perspective of mental and emotional toughness and determination, than Dak Prescott to respond and recover from this challenge that has been put in front of him."
"He is an inspiration to everyone he touches. He has all of our love and support," Jones continued. "And we have no doubt that he will return to the position of leadership and purpose that he brings to our team."
During an interview with In Depth with Graham Bensinger in September, Dak said Jace's death, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, caused him to experience depression.
“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Dak said.
“Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression," he continued. "And to the point of, I didn’t want to work out anymore. I didn’t know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and hadn’t been sleeping at all.”
Dak then encouraged others struggling with their mental health to open up about their feelings to their loved ones.
“He had a lot of tough things, and my sense of saying that is it showed me how vulnerable we have to be as humans, how open we have to be," he said of his brother.
The Cowboys went on to win Sunday's game 37-34 thanks to backup quarterback Andy Dalton. Dallas is now 2-3 on the season and will face the Arizona Cardinals next Monday.
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