Dak Prescott isn't sitting and sulking, nor does he subscribe to the "woe is me" mantra. Quite the opposite really, because despite having suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants -- this season marking the first in which he's missed a single NFL start, let alone multiple ones -- the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback has long been busy rehabilitating his ankle following surgery in October, with one eye on doing what he can to help emotionally support the Dallas Cowboys in their floundering 3-8 season and the other on returning to the field as soon as possible.

"Don't take anything you're doing for granted," he said, via NFL.com's Pepsi Rookie Roundtable. "Whether it's a walk-through ... no matter how big it is or how small it is -- don't take it for granted because it's a blessing."

"As my career just in a snapshot, I've been able to play every level of my career because the guy in front of me has gotten injured," he noted. "So I know what it means to be ready, to stay ready in case a guy gets injured in front of you. And now to be that guy that's injured, for the first time in my career, I'm missing the rest of the season. It's different. It's tough."

The former NFL Rookie of the Year is making strides in his 2020 recovery though, and remains on track to return to the field in time for offseason conditioning -- assuming the league calendar isn't again derailed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the first five games with Prescott under center, the Cowboys offense averaged over 32 points per game and despite the slow 2-3 start, the record being more attributable to what was then a historically bad defense that allowed over 36 points per game.

"For me, as I talk about the mental capacity, it's about creating and making small victories," he said of his progress. "Each and every day, when I wake up and I go in for rehab, it's about, for me, seeing my leg or seeing my body do something that it didn't do the day before or creating a feeling that I didn't have the day before -- so I know that I'm continuing to get better. And at the end of the day, I know my team needs me. I know that they need me now for support but they'll need me again later, so it's about helping them, whichever way that I can and however I can.

"It's about being right mentally and then counting those small victories."

"He's our future," team exec Stephen Jones told 105.3FM the Fan in mid-October. "If anyone can overcome anything it's Dak. Feel very good that he can come back stronger and better than ever."