Dallas Cowboys: The case for extending Dak Prescott

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 09: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 09: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the ongoing and highly public negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott.

If nothing else, this year’s training camp proves what we already knew: the Dallas Cowboys simply can’t keep themselves out of the spotlight. If you’re a fan of this bunch, it can vacillate between infuriating and titillating, and often within the same day. It’s never a dull moment, whether they’re in camp at Oxnard, CA, home at The Star in Frisco, TX, or galavanting off to Hawaii to play the Rams in preseason game number two.

As a wise man once said, it simply comes with the dinner. So in a year in which so much is leveraged into extending this season into February, it comes as no big surprise that there are two very high-profile contract situations playing out. Of course, running back Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout is old news by now. Signs point to a deal being done soon. But with the quarterback, it looks like we’re just getting started.

Word came down that the Cowboys had offered their fourth-year signal caller a deal in the neighborhood of $30 million annually. NFL Media’s Jane Slater later reported that Dak Prescott’s camp turned the deal down because they were looking for a contract in the vicinity of $40 million in annual value. As one might imagine, this has created a wave of derision and hate from various corners of the internet.

Most of it is centered around the fact that Prescott hasn’t ever won anything, in terms of championships. While that much is true, there are certain things in play here that give Prescott leverage. He knows that. His agent surely knows that. And if we’re being honest, it’s not about what he “deserves”. It’s about the quarterback market in general and the proverbial price of poker moving forward. Precott’s trying to get paid, and it’s hard to begrudge him that.

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Bottom line, since Prescott entered the league in 2016, he is second in total regular season wins (32) behind Tom Brady (35). He is ahead of names such as Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Matt Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, David Carr, and Aaron Rodgers. Now, one is probably accurate in stating that a lot of the names on this list have enjoyed more success over a sustained period than what Prescott has accomplished. They would be correct. But since the NFL is such a “What have you done for me lately?” league, it’s only fair to take the sample size that concurs with Prescott’s tenure in the NFL. He can’t be faulted for what came before him.

It’s also fair to point out the relative level of postseason success. Dak Precott is 1-2 in three postseason games. As it stands right now, his book is still being written, and we have no way of knowing how he’ll measure up when he hangs up his cleats. By that metric, it might be folly to pay a largely unproven commodity that kind of money when you have no idea what the future holds.

There’s also the alternative, which means there is none. The Cowboys have done themselves no favors when it comes to having a quality backup in place in case Prescott goes down to injury. So while we all try to squint and talk ourselves into the notion that Cooper Rush or Mike White are the solution at QB2, deep down, we really know that answer. If Rush or White have to helm this thing for anything more than a couple of weeks, it’s doomed. Everyone knows that.

The fact remains that Prescott simply has a knack for winning games and showing up when it matters most. The other underreported aspect of this is how crazily he has outplayed his rookie deal. The Cowboys have gotten some extremely solid quarterback play from a fourth-round pick for an absolute pittance.

Further, they could’ve saved themselves a headache now if they’d tried to do something last year. Isn’t it safe to assume Prescott would’ve lunged at an extension in the neighborhood of four years for $100 million at the time? That ship has long since sailed, though, so now it’s time to pay up.

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For some fans and future salary cap considerations, this is an unfortunate time. All signs point to some key cogs of this team leaving simply because there’s not enough money to go around. Make no mistake, folks. For the Dallas Cowboys, this is about this season and this season only. The Jones family is pretty close to a long overdue championship. If a few things break right for them, this may indeed be their year. But the focus on the short team will cost this organization in the long run. Might as well take advantage of it while they can.

  • Published on 08/19/2019 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 08/19/2019 at 10:57 AM