Former NFL GM Has the Right Idea for Dak Prescott Backup Plan

One former NFL general manager suggests that the Dallas Cowboys must consider drafting a Dak Prescott backup plan at the 2024 draft.
Will the Cowboys draft a potential Dak Prescott replacement later this month?
Will the Cowboys draft a potential Dak Prescott replacement later this month? / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 NFL Draft is only a few weeks and Dallas Cowboys fans are still wondering what's going on with Dak Prescott.

The veteran starting quarterback is entering the final year of his four-year, $160 million and it looks like an extension is far from guaranteed at the moment. With contract discussions seemingly stalled at the moment, the fanbase is questioning how much longer Prescott will last in the Lone Star State.

Considering how losing Prescott would be a massive blow to the franchise, one former NFL general manager has the right idea for the Cowboys: draft a backup QB in Las Vegas this month.

Cowboys News: Dallas Must Draft Prescott Replacement

On Friday's edition of "Get Up" on ESPN, former New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum (2006-12) discussed how the Cowboys must consider drafting a quarterback at the 2024 NFL Draft. He specifically outlines Washington's Michael Penix Jr. as worth a look in the first round.

The main crux behind Tannenbaum's argument is that drafting the franchise's next QB will help save money down the line. The 55-year-old used a graphic that shows how Prescott is estimated to carry a $40.1 million cap hit in 2025 if he signs an extension, whereas a signal-caller on a rookie deal — like Penix — would likely cost around $3.6.

Obviously, Penix likely won't be as good as Prescott in Year 2, but it's hard to ignore Tannenbaum's point. Even though Spotrac projects the Cowboys to have around $83.1 million in cap space in 2025, it's important to remember that the likes of CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, and DaRon Bland must also be extended in the next few years. Moving in favor of a younger QB would help get those deals done.

Even with an extension spreading out money, there's a good chance that Prescott could make even more than what Tannenbaum projects. In February, the three-time Pro Bowl QB was rumored to be looking for a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million per season across three years.

"I'd rather have Dak Prescott... but is he $52 million per year better than Michael Penix knowing that we have CeeDee Lamb, knowing that we have Micah Parsons [to sign]."

Mike Tannenbaum

As beloved as Prescott is by Cowboys fans, it's hard to say that Tannenbaum is wrong with his take.

With Prescott unable to be franchise-tagged while also boasting a no-movement clause, there's a real chance that he tests free agency next spring. If that does happen, the Cowboys would be without a backup option as Cooper Rush likely isn't anything more than a backup QB at this stage of his career while Trey Lance has only thrown 420 passes since 2018 with only 102 coming at the NFL level.

In other words, drafting someone like Penix would give the Cowboys a much-needed insurance policy. If Prescott leaves in 2025, that's fine because Dallas would now have his successor. But if Prescott opts to stay, Penix can learn under him for the next few years until he's ready to take the reins.

Even if the Cowboys have different ideas for the first round, they can always attempt to find Prescott's success later on in the draft. South Carolina's Spencer Rattler and Tulane's Michael Pratt are both seen as Day 2 picks with starting potential, making them other potential options for Jones & Co.

But whether the Cowboys do or don't find Prescott's replacement in Las Vegas, one thing is for sure: the pressure is at an all-time high for Dallas to win a championship this year. The prospects of that happening do look promising, though, as the Cowboys are currently tied for the fourth-best Super Bowl LIX odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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