Have rumors of unhappiness and the lack of a long-term contract put the future of Dak Prescott with the Dallas Cowboys in question?
The Dallas Cowboys have been remarkably fortunate as it pertains to the most prolific position in, possibly, all of professional sport. For almost two decades, this team has not had to worry about if they have a legitimate starting quarterback.
On October 29, 2006, Tony Romo took over the reins of the position which, prior to his arrival, was a complete train wreck. Romo then gave way to Dak Prescott on September 11, 2016. He has not missed a single snap.
If you have been a fan of the NFL over this time, there are very few teams that can say that they have experienced such a seamless transition from one franchise quarterback to another. Indianapolis going from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck and San Diego going from Drew Brees (who, at that time, was questionably considered a ‘franchise guy’) to Philip Rivers.
Beyond that, transitions are often rocky at best. This reason alone is why the Dallas Cowboys have won eight or more games in a season every year but twice from 2006-2019.
Heading into 2020, however, this stability has recently come into question. An inability for the team to lock down Prescott in a long-term deal coupled with rumors about his happiness in Dallas surfacing has planted seeds of doubt. Will Dak Prescott be the Dallas Cowboys quarterback for the majority/entirety of his career?
While the player obviously has some say in the matter, the ball is largely in the Dallas Cowboys court. To their credit, at least publicly, the words coming from the Dallas Cowboys front office indicate they want Dak Prescott to be their guy.
“We had a great visit with him at the deadline. We pushed to try to have a few more changes here and there to see if we could get it done. But he’s got such a great outlook on the Dallas Cowboys, our football team, and he’s ready to go out and win a Super Bowl, which would only create more value for him, more value for the Cowboys.”
Of course, these negotiations have been essentially on-going since prior to last season and we are still in the same place we were then. Is part of this on Prescott himself? Absolutely. You have to respect Prescott continually betting on himself, however, and not just taking whatever deal is offered to him.
So far, this strategy has worked out remarkably well in Prescott’s favor. Even without a long-term deal, Prescott is set to earn over $31 million in 2020 playing on the franchise tag. If a new deal cannot be agreed upon the year after, that number will just to $37.5 million in 2021 under a second franchise tag. That’s a nice come-up from the $2.7 million, TOTAL, he made under his rookie contract.
Still, the presence of a long-term deal would go a long way towards easing the minds of the sane fan who knows what the Dallas Cowboys have in their current quarterback. Another thing that would help to lessen the worry regarding the future state of the most important position on the field would be avoiding talk of Prescott being disgruntled in any way.
This topic, unfortunately, came up last week when former insider Bryan Broaddus was on 105.3 the Fan last week and dropped this bomb:
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) July 23, 2020
Whether or not this is true, I think everyone can agree it is slightly unsettling at the very least. The Dallas Cowboys are armed with the franchise tag for this year and 2021. After that, Prescott is free to do whatever he pleases. If that means moving on from the Cowboys, Dallas would be in a terrible position.
According to Spotrac, the only realistic, decent free-agent option in 2022 would be Marcus Mariota. Of course, the Dallas Cowboys would have the option to draft a replacement but as we all know, using Mariota as a reference, that’s a crapshoot.
Whatever the case may be, the Dallas Cowboys have two years to fix whatever, if there is even anything, is bothering Prescott. A long-term deal certainly would not hurt their chances.
Ultimately, the future of Prescott in Dallas should not be a difficult decision for the Joneses. All it should take for them to want to make Prescott a Cowboy for life is the following list of names that followed Troy Aikman and preceded Romo:
Randall Cunningham, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe.
No one wants to re-live that nightmare. Having Prescott around for another decade-plus would delay that anxiety very nicely.