Dear Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: Could we please get a deal soon?
By Richard Ball
Have the Dallas Cowboys ever had a potential contract that was this polarizing? Will Dak Prescott get his big paycheck before the season starts?
The Dallas Cowboys have a franchise altering decision looming when it comes to the value of their current quarterback Dak Prescott. Rumors have circulated that his agent has broached a $34 million per year average while the Front Office is holding hoping for a team friendly deal.
Some Cowboys fans would say that $34 million per year is way too much. Others would say that it seems about right. Both have valid arguments to make.
For those in the way too much category, they tell what their eyes see. They saw a quarterback who struggled and that is being kind over the first eight games of the 2018 season only to excel when a bonafide number one wide receiver arrived midseason.
For those who say it seems about right, they will cite 32 regular season wins over the last three years. They will throw in two regular season division championships and two Pro Bowl nods and see it as the cost of the position.
Both camps are correct in their assessments. Dak Prescott is a flawed quarterback who struggles sometimes to make easy throws to wide open receivers. Yet he has proven himself a regular season winner – time will tell if that will translate to the playoffs.
Pro Football Focus ranked Prescott as the 18th best quarterback in 2018 behind Carson Wentz, Andy Dalton, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota and Matt Stafford. They claim that the arrival of wide receiver Amari Cooper didn’t elevate Prescott’s performance as much as one would think.
All this leads to a difficult decision for the Front Office. Prescott seems to fit the “right kind of guy” model with high character and leadership ability. But would you be ready to pay your quarterback top five money at the position hoping his performance will catch up to his potential?
On Monday, Pro Football Focus was the guest columnist for Peter King’s Football Morning in America column. In item eight of the ten things they think section, PFF said something profound:
"We think the NFL now has a plethora of reasonable starting quarterbacks outside of the true superstars and any number of them can create top-10 production in any given year. Mid-tier quarterback production is more dependent on playmakers and scheme than ever before, so mid-tier quarterbacks need mid-tier contracts."
Dak Prescott is a mid-tier quarterback entering the 2019 season. The Cowboys would be making a mistake to pay him as an elite quarterback just because the going rate for competent quarterback play does.
The middle ground is the path of least resistance. If the Cowboys offered Prescott a two-year extension averaging $32 million per year, he would have a three-year contract that averages $22 million per season assuming his fourth year on his rookie deal is kept.
This would allow the Cowboys time to see if Prescott’s potential will yield results in the playoffs. It also allows Prescott to earn his well-deserved raise and gives himself an opportunity to cash in greater after Patrick Mahomes resets the quarterback market next year.
Some Cowboys fans will be critical no matter the outcome on Prescott’s contract. How much longer until training camp starts?