Saturday, October 31, 2020

Dak Prescott adds fuel to Dallas dumpster fire

As the Dallas Cowboys approach their final game of the season, starting quarterback Dak Prescott has announced this may be his last game for the team. Currently playing the last season under his rookie deal, Prescott is free to walk at the end of the season.

In a season that was expected to see the Cowboys challenge for the NFC title, they instead sit second in the NFC East at just 7-8. As the Cowboys begin to dissect their season and remove HC Jason Garrett it seems Dak Prescott is not 100% sure he’ll be staying either.

Where did it all go wrong for Dak Prescott

Things had all seem setup for Prescott before training camp opened, with Jerry Jones saying Dak would get paid in the region of Russell Wilson money. A major reach for a player with a limited track record of success and no big game wins to his name, but they were reassuring words from the owner.

Things began to go wrong for Dak Prescott when Ezekiel Elliott decided to jump ahead of him on the money train. With a rookie contract expiring at the end of the 2020 season, Zeke wanted paying, and announced he would hold out. It was a holdout that dragged on most of the pre-season before he finally got his 6-year $90m contract.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong for the Cowboys in 2019. They rank 2nd on pass offence, and 8th on run offence so far in 2019. But the fundamental issue is they can’t beat good teams. Over the season they have beaten just 2 teams with winning records in the Eagles and Rams, both of whom are 8-7.

They are 2-6 against teams with winning records, and 5-2 against teams with losing records. Certainly not what the Cowboys were expecting going into the season.

An off-season of uncertainty

Dak Prescott does, however, find himself at something of a crossroads. While the Cowboys are an appealing spot to continue his career, longtime head coach Jason Garrett will be looking for a new job in 2020. While it’s clear Dak wants to get paid, 2020 promises to be a year of incredible upheaval at the QB position across the league.

Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Ryan Tannehill are all impending free agents. And while some like Brees and Tannehill are likely to re-up with their current teams, the rest could be on the move.

It offers a unique opportunity for Dak Prescott to find his true market value. If Brady were to move on from the Patriots, he could be a good fit in New England, although he isn’t likely to get top-tier money.

Dak Prescott has a number of potential landing spots © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott has a number of potential landing spots © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

One intriguing spot he could land is Cincinnati. While the Bengals possess the number one overall pick in the 2020 draft and are tipped to take Joe Burrow, another possibility would be to sign Dak to a long term deal and take edge Chase Young to shore up both sides of the ball in one off-season.

While Prescott has been efficient and has led the Boys to the playoffs twice, Dallas is not a forgiving place to play. He has a 1-2 record in the playoffs, and this season has seen his stock tumble in the eyes of the fans. At a time when Dallas will be putting together a new coaching staff, it may be that Dak’s time comes to a natural end.

The smart money will still be on a likely return to Dallas. But with Jerry Jones desire to win, and the amount of talent about to hit the market, you can be sure he will consider his options. One thing is for sure, Dak Prescott will be starting in the NFL next season. The only question is where?

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