Is Dak Prescott in danger of being viewed as the villain by fans during his contract negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys?
For years, the Dallas Cowboys have had the benefit of having a franchise quarterback under center playing on a fourth-round rookie contract in Dak Prescott. Now, that contract is up. And Prescott is looking for a huge raise.
Prescott has undoubtedly overachieved during his stint in Dallas. The Cowboys second selection in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Mississippi State rookie replaced an injured starter in Tony Romo and went on to post one of the greatest first-year performances for a quarterback in league history.
Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Prescott, his representatives, and the Cowboys were unable to come to an agreement on an extension. So the 26-year old passer bet on himself and played last season with his future earnings on the line.
That gamble paid off big as Prescott posted career numbers in 2019, recording 4,902 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and just 11 interceptions. He also ran for 277 yards and three more scores.
With Prescott under center, and with Kellen Moore as the team’s first-year offensive coordinator, the Cowboys were able to field the NFL’s second-best passing offense averaging 296.9 yards per game through the air.
So, it’s conceivable to think that Prescott’s price tag is higher than it’s ever been. Yet, the question of just how much Dak is worth is at the heart of the current negotiations being had amongst fans. And how will his possible record-breaking deal hurt the team’s ability to be competitive?
On one hand, Prescott has played well above his fourth-round rookie contract (four-year, $2.72 million) and deserves a sizeable raise. On the other hand, he has only lead the team to a single playoff victory during his four-year tenure.
In the Cowboys’ most pivotal game last season, a 17-9 loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles with the divisional championship on the line, Prescott posted a pedestrian 265 passing yards completing just 25 of his 44 passes (56.8 percent) with no touchdowns or interceptions. He’s clearly not yet a passer who can lift the team to victories with his arm alone.
As the contractual tug-of-war between Prescott and the Cowboys continues, fans are having a similarly heated debate. And when news like the recent report that Dak turned down a deal that would have paid him roughly $33 million a year back in September wanting even more money, his stellar reputation among the fanbase continues to suffer.
Most agree Prescott isn’t as good as other premier NFL quarterbacks like the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger. All of which have won a Super Bowl title. Yet, Prescott seemingly wants to be paid on their level … or even more.
Yet, quarterbacks aren’t simply paid for performance alone. When their contracts come up for renewal is more impactful as what a passer is paid is tied to the current market value. And that skews the numbers. It’s the reason quarterbacks like the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz are among the top five in annual average salary.
As a franchise NFL quarterback, Dak Prescott has certainly been underpaid for years. And the Dallas Cowboys certainly benefited from his meager contract. But now that it’s time for a new deal, Prescott’s enormous price tag will likely ruffle the feathers of several in the fan base. And Dak could enter into villain territory as his representatives push to give him the biggest payday possible. Unfortunately, this is all part of doing business in the modern NFL.