For the Dallas Cowboys, bringing back their starting quarterback is the top priority
The Dallas Cowboys will head into this offseason with several important decisions to make. The team will have to decide what it wants to do with the 10th overall draft pick and whether it wants to re-sign players like veteran edge rusher Aldon Smith.
However, the organization’s most consequential decision will be whether it decides to bring back its starting quarterback, Dak Prescott. The 27-year old suffered a gruesome season-ending ankle injury in the team’s Week Five matchup against the New York Giants.
Prior to that injury, Prescott was on pace to shatter the NFL’s single-season passing yardage record amassing 1,856 yards in less than five full games. Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning holds that record, having passed for 5,477 yards for the Denver Broncos back in 2013
After losing their starting signal-caller the Dallas offense was never quite the same. Even after veteran backup quarterback Andy Dalton got settled into the offense towards the end of the year they still never quite reached the heights they had under Prescott.
Prescott took over as the team’s signal-caller back in 2016. The fourth-round draft pick had a surprisingly excellent rookie campaign after being thrown into the starting role. That after the organization’s veteran starting quarterback, Tony Romo, suffered a back injury in the preseason.
Prescott managed to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs by winning the NFC East with a 13-3 record. The young quarterback was awarded the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for his efforts (Even though Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott probably deserved it). Prescott finished his rookie season with 3,667 passing yards and 23 touchdowns while only throwing four interceptions.
After a stellar rookie season, Dak headed into his sophomore year with high expectations. However, he struggled for most of his second year and the team missed out on the playoffs as it finished the year with a 9-7 record.
The Cowboys quarterback headed into his third season with several pressing questions looming. Was Prescott just a “system” passer? Could he be trusted to be the focal point of Dallas’s offense?
The Mississippi State product quickly proved his critics wrong during his third season. After initially struggling early in the year, Prescott managed to turn his year around after the team acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. He finished the season by posting a career-high in passing yards with 3,885.
On top of his statistical accomplishments, Prescott also managed to get America’s Team to the playoffs for the second time in his young career. Then the young signal-caller did something that it took his predecessor Romo until his sixth year in the league to do, he won a playoff game.
After posting his first career playoff win against the Seattle Seahawks the team wound up losing to the eventual NFC East champion Los Angeles Rams in a hard-fought game that ended 30-22.
The young signal-caller was once again faced with criticism after his uneven start to the year. The next season saw Prescott once again proving his critics wrong. He finished his fourth-year by posting career-highs in both passing yards with 4,902 and passing touchdowns with 30.
The team narrowly missed out on the playoffs, but Dak managed to silence one of the most pernicious criticisms of him by successfully becoming the focal point of the teams’ offense.
The 27-year old headed into this past offseason without a contract. Much of the offseason drama for Dallas heading into the 2020 season revolved around the organization trying and failing, to reach a long-term deal with their starting quarterback. The team wound up using their franchise tag on its fifth-year passer.
Once again Prescott will head into this offseason without a contract. This time he will be doing so after suffering a season-ending ankle injury. However, he might also have more leverage this time around due to the organization’s struggles without him on the field.
The Dallas Cowboys must make it their top priority to bring back their starting quarterback. Dak Prescott has proven that he’s a franchise quarterback during his young career and if the team fails to bring him back then it might find itself in the position of many of his critics. Looking like absolute fools.