The Dallas Cowboys paid everyone this past season. DeMarcus Lawrence was paid $105 million for five years. Jaylon Smith got $64 million for five years. Ezekiel Elliott sat out of camp and got paid $90 million. So what happened with Dak Prescott? Why didn’t Prescott get paid?
Prescott balled out during the season putting up a career-high 4,902 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He showed great control of new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore‘s offense. Prescott had a career-high in pass completions and pass attempts.
The offense looked different this season with how much they passed the ball. Many considered the playcalling to be the problem with this team. Head coach Jason Garrett took a lot of criticism. This led to him being let go. Who else got the other criticism? Prescott.
What’s the problem?
There were multiple games where analysts would make the argument that Prescott got a lot of “garbage” stats. The Cowboys were losing big against the Green Bay Packers and he brought them back by throwing for 463 yards, but they were too far behind to win. He fell short of a great performance in big games against the Saints, the Bears, and week 16 against the Eagles. When the team needed him, he folded. The argument could be the whole team folded as well.
The linebacking core failed to live up to expectations with missed tackles. Elliott wasn’t as consistent as he has been in the past. The receivers had a scary amount of drops in big moments. Garrett wasn’t as aggressive with the playcalling and never took risks. It was a multitude of things that went wrong for this 8-8 team.
Why do they need to pay Dak?
This adds more to the reason why the team needs him more than they would like to admit. He knows the offense like it was on the back on his hand. Prescott has great mobility with the way he can move out of the pocket when there is trouble. He protects the football better than most quarterbacks in the league.
The quarterback position is the most important position in the NFL. There isn’t anyone else in free agency that is as young and talented as Prescott is. Granted, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are technically up for grabs, but signing quarterbacks in their 40’s doesn’t make sense for this team.
The Cowboys are loaded with talent and are ready to take the next step. Signing Mike McCarthy to be their head coach is more evident that this team is ready to win now. Bringing in someone like Prescott that knows the offense and have chemistry with his teammates makes sense.
Franchise Tag or New Contract?
Prescott has publicly stated that he believes that a new contract will happen between the two sides. The Cowboys have two choices to pick from. They can either franchise tag him for one year while paying him a heavy load of money. The Cowboys can also give him a new contract and lock him up for several years.
The contract would make more sense. Young quarterbacks are being locked up for multiple years. That’s the trend that most NFL teams are taking. Keeping him will ensure that the Cowboys don’t lose Prescott like they potentially could this offseason.
A franchise tag would keep him for one more year while paying him a lot of money. The problem? The team would be saying a lot without saying anything. It would show that they don’t necessarily believe in him as much as anyone else would. This could hurt the confidence of the quarterback.
The Cowboys need to decide whether there is someone out there that could lead this team better than Prescott. The options are limited. Prescott has great potential who is close to taking the next step in his development. He’s worth the risk.
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