Dak Prescott hunting huge Cowboys windfall

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Ray Burton
Ray writes mostly in-depth analytical pieces covering a range of sports from a more statistical perspective drawing his inspiration from the fanalytics movement. Ray writes on the NFL, Premier League, MLB, NHL, NBA, and NRL.

Dak Prescott faces a nervous few weeks as the Dallas Cowboys decide whether or not to put all of their chips on the QB to lead them for the foreseeable future. While Prescott’s future assuredly holds a truckload of money this off-season, the question over whether it will be with the Cowboys still hangs in the air.

Over recent weeks, rumours of Tom Brady taking his talents to the Lonestar state have gathered some momentum. And while this scenario is certainly a long shot, it gives the Cowboys some serious leverage in their negotiations with Dak.

Dak Prescott: Top 3 Quarterback?

It’s become blatantly obvious that Dak Prescott wants top-tier quarterback money. In fact, even more than that, he wants to be in the Russell Wilson bracket. While Dak has certainly been good, he hasn’t earned the right to ask for that kind of money.

Tom Brady, on the other hand, is willing to take sub-$30 million per season, if he is surrounded with the right weapons. So a six-time Super Bowl winner would cost less than a quarterback with a 1-2 playoff record? That’s intriguing.

Boasting a 40-24 regular-season winning record is pretty decent, and that’s pretty much what Dak Prescott is: pretty decent. With two seasons of 10+ wins out of his four seasons and one break-even season, he is doing ok. But the top 2? Not even close.

He has arguably the best offensive line in football. He has a running back who is arguably top-5, despite his myriad of off-field issues including last season’s holdout.

Dak Prescott continues to fall at all major challenges © Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Dak Prescott continues to fall at all major challenges © Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Despite that Dak managed to put up an 8-8 record last season. In the pivotal week 16 game at the Eagles, he posted a 25/44-265-0-0 line as the Cowboys put up 9 measly points. Not the performance of a top-4 quarterback. And maybe not even the performance of a franchise quarterback.

Now don’t get me wrong, Tom Brady is highly unlikely to go to the Cowboys. He has no ties to the state. But he does want one more shot at the Super Bowl. And if there’s one thing Jerry Jones wants it’s another Super Bowl.

Would Jones let Dak Prescott walk?

Jones is the kind of owner who will blow up anything in his way for a Super Bowl. So his record of going with decent quarterbacks who will get you to the playoffs, but not be able to put the team on his back is interesting. Tom Brady would change all of that.

In an off-season where there are so many options at starting quarterback (Brady, Brees, Rivers, Tannehill, Mariota, Dalton, Winston) throwing a truck-load of cash at Prescott seems highly suspect.

A move for a veteran like Brady would obviously be short-term, but there can be no doubt it would improve the Cowboys. Brady clearly doesn’t have the arm he had five years ago, but he is still a better winner than Prescott. Clearly the Patriots have great coaching. Something the Cowboys also lack. But that shouldn’t stop them from making a smart decision behind center.

All that said, I think Jerry Jones genuinely believes Dak Prescott could be a great quarterback, despite the fact we have seen very little evidence of it thus far. In fact, Dak Prescott’s performances look a whole lot like Tony Romo’s.

But with the highest-paid offensive line in football and one of the highest-paid running backs, the Cowboys don’t need a gunslinger at quarterback. They need to take a leaf out of the Tennessee Titans playbook, and get a quarterback who fits their system, and will help them win.

Despite the Cowboys having all of the leverage, Jones seems enamoured with his current passer. Jerry Jones was once a great owner, but those days look long gone. A big contract for Dak this spring will saddle Dallas with him for years to come, and fritter away the best years of a roster built to make a serious playoff run.

When all is said and done, expect Prescott to walk away with $33m per year over six or seven years. With the bulk of the money back-loaded as the Cowboys try to create room for Amari Cooper in what could only be described as a very tight cap situation.

The smarter move would be to let Prescott walk and sign with the Chargers or the Buccs. But Jerry Jones hasn’t made good decisions at quarterback for a while, and that looks set to continue with Dak Prescott.

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