The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott still don’t have a deal.
The free agent-to-be finished the final year of his rookie contract in 2019, leading Dallas to an NFL-high 431.5 yards per game. He tossed 30 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions for a top-5 quarterback rating; but despite the statistical success Dallas finished just 8-8 and missing the playoffs.
Should the Cowboys pay Dak Prescott?
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 2, 2020
Once thought to be a lock for a long-term, $300 million+ contract, the Mississippi State product could opt to go a different direction. Just as Kirk Cousins did with the Minnesota Vikings, it is reported that Prescott might be more interested in a shorter contract to give both himself and the team more flexibility.
MSN.com reports that Prescott could suggest a deal of three years at around $34 million per year, a number that would have been good for second-highest in the NFL in 2019.
Prior to 2019, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones knew the franchise was approaching a crossroads; with stud running back Ezekiel Elliott, leading wide receiver Amari Cooper and Pro Bowl quarterback all approaching the end of their contracts. Throw in defensive end Robert Quinn and shutdown corner Byron Jones also heading to free agency after the season; this offseason is pivotal in the future of the team.
Elliott sat out the 2019 pre-season before signing a six-year, $90 million extension with Dallas; but the team decided to wait on making new deals with Prescott or Cooper. With the Cowboys starting 3-0 and Prescott throwing over 900 yards and nine touchdowns, trending towards signing a longer-term contract for upwards of $300 million.
That inconsistency and the introduction of new head coach Mike McCarthy led to a question mark to descend upon what was once thought a certainty: will the Cowboys bring back Dak?
After yet another 8-8 finish under head coach Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboys parted ways with their nine-year leader. After taking over mid-season for Wade Phillips in 2010, he left with a record of 85-67. Dallas made the playoffs five times under Garrett, but won just two postseason games.
Mike McCarthy when asked if Dak Prescott is the Cowboys’ franchise QB pic.twitter.com/GbFrb0z2Qp
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 26, 2020
After failing to reach the playoffs and his contract running out, Jones reluctantly decided it was time to move on. Shortly after parting ways with Garrett, the Cowboys announced former Packers coach Mike McCarthy as their new leader.
So far, McCarthy has expressed nothing but praise and his desire to keep Prescott for 2020.
“I think number one, you just look at what he’s done during his time in the league. I think he’s been impressive,” McCarthy said at the NFL Combine. “Defenses get you to the championship. The quarterbacks win championships. And I definitely think Dak is that quarterback.”
As of right now, the most likely solution is looking like the Cowboys will franchise-tag Prescott; which would pay him $33 million dollars in 2020 and allow the sides to continue hammering out a multi-year deal.
If Prescott decides to sign elsewhere Dallas will likely be active on the free agent market to find a replacement. Behind Prescott on the depth chart currently is Cooper Rush and Clayton Thorson, who have thrown a combined three passes in the regular season.