Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, in a statement to USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday, denied he hosted a large party last Friday that prompted accusations of violating social-distancing policies.
“I understand and accept that there are additional responsibilities and media scrutiny that come with being an NFL quarterback, but it is very frustrating and disappointing when people provide completely inaccurate information from anonymous sources, especially now,” Prescott said in his first public comments since a TMZ report on Saturday suggested there were about 30 people at his house at one point.
“To set the record straight — I know that we all need to do our best to socially distance and like everyone else, I am continuing to adjust to what that requires, but the truth is that I was with fewer than 10 people for a home dinner — not a party — on Friday night.”
Police received an anonymous call Friday evening that Prescott was violating social distancing guidelines at his home in Prosper, Texas. A Prosper police officer responded to the call to check.
“The officer was unable to verify the report of a ‘party’; therefore, he just reminded the resident of the current CDC guidelines – to include social distancing,” Prosper assistant police chief Scott Brewer said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.
Prescott was not issued a citation.
TMZ also inaccurately attributed a photo taken at the restaurant as Prescott’s home, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose the information.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones was asked Tuesday about Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott adhering to social-distancing guidelines. The two were seen in footage of workouts with former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. Elliott also was in a picture TMZ attributed to Prescott’s Friday gathering. Elliott’s representation declined comment when reached by USA TODAY Sports.
Texas governor Greg Abbott has issued a stay-at-home directive through April 30 that asks Texans to minimize social gathering and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household “except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.”
Jones said the team has reiterated that.
“Yes, we certainly have communicated with Dak and Zeke, and I think they’re certainly aware now of how sensitive these situations are,” Jones said Tuesday on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “I don’t think you’ll be seeing that any more. They’re certainly guys we have the utmost respect for. And I certainly know they understand the sensitivity of the situation we’re in today. It’s certainly very serious and something that we know, certainly know, they understand.”
Prescott addressed that he understands in his statement.
“I am very sensitive to the challenges we are all facing and making sure to support the first responders and medical personnel and everyone else putting in long hours,” Prescott said. “We are all at a time when we need to keep educating ourselves about the importance of health and isolation during this pandemic.
“I will continue to make sure to do my part by following the guidelines until we are approved to start returning to normal activities.”
The Cowboys placed an exclusive franchise tag on Prescott last March, and the two sides have not yet reached agreement on a long-term extension.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.
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