Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott dodges questions about vaccination status

FILE - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass as coach Mike McCarthy watches during the NFL football team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif., in this Thursday, July 22, 2021, file photo. From players getting COVID-19 vaccinations to relaxed coronavirus protocols to lineup issues, particularly at quarterback, the NFL faces a multitude of questions as training camps open. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker, File)
FILE - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass as coach Mike McCarthy watches during the NFL football team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif., in this Thursday, July 22, 2021, file photo. From players getting COVID-19 vaccinations to relaxed coronavirus protocols to lineup issues, particularly at quarterback, the NFL faces a multitude of questions as training camps open. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

OXNARD, Calif. – During his first press conference since reporting to Oxnard for training camp, Cowboys quarterback Dak did not hold back in answering any and all questions about his ankle, its recovery and his physical status during practice.

That free flow of information was cut short, however, when the discussion shifted towards Prescott’s potential vaccination. The question of whether he had received one of the COVID-19 vaccines was posed one day after teammate Ezekiel Elliott revealed that he had been vaccinated. Zeke’s open admission did not seem to influence Dak to do the same.

“I don’t necessarily think that’s exactly important. I think that’s HIPAA,” Prescott said, mistakenly citing federal health privacy laws. “But I understand where Zeke comes from. I understand everybody’s opinion and I think everyone has that right.”

Some quick context: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) only exists to enforce the confidentiality of sensitive health information between medical personnel and their patients. Said information cannot be disclosed to third parties without the patient’s explicit consent. Prescott is well within his rights declining to answer the reporter’s question, but HIPAA has no meaning in this exchange, as it does not prevent Prescott from revealing that information himself.

In previous interviews, Prescott had stated that he would not pressure any of his teammates to get vaccinated, but made sure to add, “Obviously we’ll have to do a better job of educating ourselves, of educating our neighbors just on this whole pandemic, just this whole situation and the vaccine.”

Prescott’s comments come the day before the NFL is set to visit Cowboys camp. Commissioner Roger Goodell threatened that games and player paychecks would be forfeited in the future if there is a COVID outbreak on a team among unvaccinated players.

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About the Authors:

Greg Simmons is the sports director and a sports anchor for KSAT 12.

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.