Dallas Cowboys: 5 Reasons paying Dak Prescott big isn’t certain death

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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dallas cowboys
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t doomed if they pay Dak: Point No. 3

Passing is King

Whether you’re the Dallas Cowboys or any other NFL team, the single most important part of the game is unquestionably the passing game. A dominant passing attack holds the biggest weight in determining winners and losers each week. More than a rushing attack, more than pass-rush, more than coverage, and more than run defense. All numbers point to the passing game as the most influential element.

The reason this is important to know and accept is it illustrates how absolutely ridiculous it is to think it’s wise to let a franchise QB walk, just in order to save money to spend at positions that are vastly less important.

While there are examples every year of great defenses winning Super Bowls, the idea of a team purposely choosing to build a team around a dominant defense instead of around an elite QB is misguided. Sure, some teams are forced into such a plan when they fail to find a franchise QB, but it’s hard to believe a dominant defense is Plan A for anyone in this day and age.

The reason being, defenses are harder to build, harder to maintain, and ultimately more expensive.  They are only as strong as their weakest link and parts must be groomed and maintained. Even if you can do all of the above, defensive performance is less stable than an offense’s passing attack.

Running games are more stable year to year but their impact is minimal compared to their passing-game counterparts:

Look at the Dallas Cowboys EPA per play in runs vs passes on early downs. The passing game produced more than 4x the expected points per play than the running game last year. It wasn’t even close as to which element was more important. That applies league-wide as well: only two teams produced better EPA in running the ball than they did passing the ball, and that’s only because the passing games of those teams were less than optimal.

Again, the idea of going cheap at the most important position on the field is preposterous. This is the one area you absolutely should invest. Would it be nice to pay less rather than more? Of course, but not at the cost of declining at the most important position.