Should Dak Prescott Have Been Benched by the Cowboys After Such a Hard Hit to the Head?

One major rule in the sport of football is that players are prohibited from tackling head down to prevent helmet-to-helmet concussions. So when Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott experienced a blow like this from Washington Redskins cornerback Greg Stroman, there was quite a bit of controversy and question about whether or not a penalty should have been given. More importantly, people want to know why Dak wasn’t benched for the rest of the game after being pummeled head-first.

Smelling Salts

In most First Aid kits you’ll notice there are “smelling salts,” which have an ammonia scent that alerts your body to wake up. As research has progressed over the years, doctors have advised against this, as the biological purpose of a concussion is to protect the brain and the rest of the body. It’s a natural response in helping to preserve memory and reduce any possible swelling that may have resulted from the hit.

A sudden restart to the brain interrupts that healing process, which is why concussed players wake up not knowing where they are and appear to have little control over their motor skills and balance. Putting a player out onto the field in this condition, as the Cowboys did with Dak, is sure to aggravate his disorientation and physical trauma.

Prescott Mentions That He was Fine

Being a professional football player, one has to get used to the idea of being hit over, and over again. As most players do, Dak Prescott has stated that this is something he’s adjusted to, and that he was doing well after he woke up from passing out after the tackle.

However, the problem is that many players have sung this same tune, “toughing it out” as they say when dealing with pain and injuries. You can’t just walk off a concussion though as we’ve seen with many players from the past.

Keeping Concussed Players Off the Field

In addition to the possibility of a future diagnosis for Dementia, there’s no telling whether or not an unconscious player may have had an injury to the neck or spine. There are instances in which a person may be knocked unconscious and appear fine initially, only to succumb to fluid buildup hours later. Prescott’s concussion has been hotly debated amongst fans and professionals alike about whether or not putting him back out onto the field was the right thing to do. While it was a clean and fair hit, coaches and medical professionals on the sidelines must take into account the very real possibility of the aftermath.


Richard Williams