Cowboys' Prescott acknowledges mental struggles of offseason

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) gives instructions to his teammates during an NFL football training camp practice at The Star, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) gives instructions to his teammates during an NFL football training camp practice at The Star, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott says he was already feeling the emotional burden of the pandemic when the star quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys received word that one of his brothers had died by suicide in the spring.

Prescott acknowledged the cause of Jace Prescott’s death for the first time in a recent TV interview set to air this weekend. On Thursday, Prescott told reporters who cover the team he sought help from family, coaches and teammates past and present and sports psychologist Chad Bohling of the New York Yankees. Bohling has been an adviser to the Cowboys.

“When you have thoughts that you’ve never had, I think that’s more so than anything a chance to realize it and recognize it, to be vulnerable about it,” Prescott said. “Was able to have those conversations and then reach out further just to more people. I think being open about it and not holding those feelings in was one of the better things for me.”

The Prescott brothers endured the death of their mother, Peggy, who died of colon cancer when Dak Prescott was a sophomore at Mississippi State in 2013.

Dak Prescott said he knew Jace Prescott bore the greatest burden as their mom’s primary caregiver while she battled cancer. Jace Prescott died at 31 in the southeast Texas city of Orange in April.

The youngest of three brothers, Dak Prescott said the pandemic was a struggle because he’s a people person who thrives through interacting with and trying to inspire others.

Fox sports commentator Skip Bayless criticized Prescott’s admission, saying on his TV show he had no sympathy for the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and that it was a sign of weakness for the leader of the franchise.

After Bayless’ comments were blasted on Twitter, Fox issued a statement praising the quarterback and saying it didn’t agree with what Bayless said.