The Dallas Cowboys‘ top priority this offseason should be trying to re-sign their starting quarterback Dak Prescott. However, the organization must be prepared for the possibility that the two sides might not reach a deal for a long-term extension and that another franchise tag might not be the ideal move either.
If the Cowboys are not able to bring back Prescott they will be forced into a perilous situation without a clear answer for the most important position in football. Nevertheless, the team should prepare a contingency plan just in case they are not able to bring back their starting signal-caller.
Hopefully, this plan never actually has to be executed. However, Dallas must make sure to do these three things if they fail to re-sign Prescott in order to avoid catastrophe next season.
1. Re-sign Andy Dalton
Last offseason the Cowboys decided to sign veteran quarterback Andy Dalton to a one-year deal during the heat of contract negotiations with Prescott. The move was taken, by some, as a possible indication that Dallas might not be able to reach a deal with their starting quarterback.
That speculation was put to rest, at least temporarily, when Prescott signed a franchise-tag offer from the organization worth over $30 million. The move relegated the former Cincinnati Bengal to the role of the backup quarterback, at least that was the plan.
Then the teams’ starting signal-caller went down with a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury in the teams’ week five matchup against the New York Giants. The veteran backup was then quickly forced into action against the Giants where he managed to lead an improbable, fourth-quarter comeback to get Dallas its second win of the year.
The three-time Pro Bowl passer played admirably in his nine starts for the organization in a year that was plagued with significant injuries. Dalton finished the season with 14 passing touchdowns and eight interceptions and helped lead the struggling team to a 4-5 record in his starts.
The tenth-year passer played some of his best football towards the end of the year, albeit against less than stellar competition. Over the last four games of the season, Dalton led the team to a 3-1 record while tossing seven touchdowns and only two interceptions.
The Dallas Cowboys’ would be wise to bring back Andy Dalton if they cannot reach a deal with Prescott. The 33-year-old is already at least somewhat familiar with both the offensive system and the personnel and played admirably in a tough situation last season.