The Dallas Cowboys made some significant changes this offseason. Specifically, to the defensive side of the ball on a unit that ranked in the bottom five of the NFL allowing nearly 30 points per game to opposing offenses in 2020.
The biggest change came at defensive coordinator with the ousting of Mike Nolan after a single season and the hiring of Dan Quinn to replace him. Now, the team’s attention turns to free agency with America’s Team having to answer questions about whether they’ll keep a few of their own or not.
The Cowboys have several big names scheduled to hit the open market next month. Here are our predictions for the team’s top six free agents this offseason …
Dak Prescott, QB
While most of the talk over the past two years has been on why the Cowboys haven’t locked up Dak Prescott to a long-term deal, the underlying question is whether they believe they should. This offseason offers potential upgrades at the position, but only at a premium price.
Trading for quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, or Matthew Stafford might be viewed as an upgrade over Prescott, who is coming off a season-ending ankle injury requiring two separate surgeries. Yet acquiring any of those big names would undoubtedly mortgage the future far more than signing Prescott to a long-term deal presumably approaching $40 million per season would.
Will inking Prescott to a contract that pays him that much hinder the front office in providing quality talent around him? It certainly could. But it can be argued that Dallas hasn’t done a great job of doing so even when Dak was still on his rookie deal. The team absolutely squandered that opportunity. And there’s no reason to think they’d do any better if Prescott signed a more modest deal.
In the end, the Cowboys need a franchise quarterback. They have one. One that they trust and is beloved in the locker room. They just have to pay him like one.
Prediction: Dak Prescott signs a four-year deal to remain in Dallas.