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Cowboys’ Dak Prescott will undergo surgery for hand injury

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is hit by Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett after throwing a pass in the fourth quarter Sunday night. (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

A dreary start to the season Sunday night for the Dallas Cowboys became far more costly when quarterback Dak Prescott suffered an injury to his right hand that will require surgery and keep him out of the lineup for an unspecified period.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters following the 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Arlington, Tex., that Prescott suffered “an injury above his joint in his thumb.” Prescott’s injury will require surgery and he’ll be sidelined “for several weeks,” Jones said.

“Dak will be out for a little while,” Jones said. “And so we’ll be dealing with that as well. So this was a really tough night for the Cowboys and a really surprising night. ... We’ll see more about how many weeks that may be.”

Prescott said the surgery could take place as soon as Monday.

“I’ve just got to go see the doctor tomorrow,” Prescott said in his postgame news conference. “The plan is to see him, surgery tomorrow and let me know once they get in there [and] they see everything. I was told it was much cleaner than it could have been.”

Prescott, who had a brace on his right hand after the game, said he initially thought the injury was less severe. His throwing hand struck the hand of Buccaneers pass rusher Shaquil Barrett on a fourth-quarter pass.

“I’ve hit my hand on helmets or bodies a lot in my career and never really had anything, maybe a jammed finger here,” Prescott said. “I actually thought that’s what it was [but] just the next play, realized I couldn’t grip the ball [and] let the sideline know. And then when I got off [the field], I told the trainers the same thing. I was just like: ‘I can’t grip. I feel like if you yank it, I’ll be okay.’ I came in and got X-rays, and things were different.”

Prescott threw an interception and completed only 14 of 29 passes for 134 yards before exiting the game. He was replaced by backup Cooper Rush. Now, as the Cowboys attempt to fix all that went wrong Sunday night, they’ll have to do so without their two-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

“It’s very disappointing,” Prescott said. “But injuries happen. You can’t necessarily control it. [It’s] just unfortunate. I’m obviously going to miss some time, not be there for my team. And that’s what hurts more than anything, especially after the start that we just put out there. I wanted to be able to respond. And not necessarily having that opportunity for several weeks — yeah, it’s unfortunate. But I’ll do what I’ve always done any time adversity comes: Take it on headfirst. And I’ll give my best, and I’m sure I’ll come out of this thing better.”

Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy said that Prescott suffered a “significant injury,” and added: “Once we get all the facts, we’ll get that to you. ... He hasn’t even seen a doctor yet.”