3. Acquire good free agents to help their secondary
The Dallas Cowboys were one of only seven teams in 2020 to allow opposing quarterbacks to have a passer rating over 100. The team has also managed to only nab 17 interceptions over the past two seasons. Needless to say, the team is in desperate need of help in its secondary.
If Dallas re-signs Prescott it can use its top draft pick to address this need by selecting either Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II or Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. However, if the organization fails to bring back its starting quarterback their most pressing need would instantly become finding the quarterback of the future.
The Cowboys will need help on the defensive side of the ball regardless of what it decides to do with Prescott. They would be wise to use most of their draft picks to address it in either case. However, one of the only upsides to not bringing their starting signal-caller back would be the money it frees up for Dallas in its cap space.
The organization is currently projected to have roughly $20 million in cap space heading into 2021. Most of that money would inevitably be used to bring back Prescott if the two sides can reach a deal. However, that money could be used to address the teams’ other needs if they fail to bring back their starting quarterback.
The Cowboys could also significantly add to their cap space by being creative with some of their players’ existing contracts. This money can and should be used to pursue top-tier defensive free agents like safety Anthony Harris, cornerback Richard Sherman, and possibly even multiple-time defensive player of the year defensive end, J.J. Watt.
The freed-up cap space would also give Dallas more flexibility to bring back some of its own free agents like cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and edge rusher Aldon Smith.
The downsides of not bring back Dak Prescott probably outweigh the potential benefits. However, one of those benefits would certainly be allowing America’s Team to be more aggressive in both free agency and the draft. The Cowboys should exhaust all of their options to try and bring back Prescott, but the organization should be prepared for the worst even if it expects the best.