Don’t believe the Cowboys-Kyler Murray hype amid QB’s contract dispute

Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Legend has it that the Dallas Cowboys were exposed as “frauds” in their Week 17 loss at home to the Cardinals.

Riding a four-game winning streak against the inferior Saints, Washington (twice) and Giants, the matchup vs the Cardinals was widely viewed as a measuring stick game for Mike McCarthy’s group, and they fumbled the bag.

The defense had zero answers for Kyler Murray, the running game was rendered useless and Dak Prescott didn’t get rolling until early in the fourth quarter, when the score was already out of hand at 22-7 in favor of Arizona.

Ultimately, the Cowboys were unable to shake their “fraud” label, as they were ousted by the 49ers in the first round of the playoffs. The undermanned Cardinals didn’t fare much better, as they exited in the same round to the Rams.

Fast forward to the present and the Cowboys are somehow better off than the Cardinals from an organizational standpoint. With the Cards reportedly not offering Kyler Murray a new contract, there’s growing speculation that the former No. 1 overall pick could be on the move before next season.

Care to guess who OddsChecker has as the betting favorites to land Murray? None other than the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys are somehow the betting favorites to land Kyler Murray.

We wouldn’t buy into these odds for a second. For starters, the Cowboys are always used as leverage for big-name free agents and potential trade candidates in order to fleece a bigger contract/boost their trade value.

Think about how many were linked with Dallas just this offseason and landed elsewhere. From Bobby Wagner, Za’Darius Smith, and Brandin Cooks, the Cowboys seemingly didn’t even come close to netting any of them.

More importantly, Dallas has Prescott under contract until 2024 (his deal has void years in both 2025 and 2026) and would incur too steep of a dead cap charge by trading him to even consider extending Kyler Murray, which is the reason these odds have been unearthed in the first place.

Just to lay out the numbers, trading Dak before June 1 would create a $76.2 million dead cap charge compared to $56.47 million in cap savings. If he’s traded after June 1, the Cowboys would save just $1.6 million while accruing $18.1 million in dead money.

For a team that has less than $16 million in remaining cap space, trading Prescott would undue all the hoops they jumped through (trading Amari Cooper, extending DeMarcus Lawrence, etc.) to get back under the cap and sign free agents.

It just isn’t feasible. Another thing to consider is that Prescott’s contract, which felt like an overpay at the time, kind of looks like a bargain now. When he signed, Prescott became the second-highest quarterback in the NFL.

Taking Derek Carr’s new Raiders deal into account, Prescott’s days a top-five paid quarterback are numbered. Once Murray signs his extension, whether it’s with Arizona or another team, Dak will be bumped outside of the top rankings.

With Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert likely to reset the market in a year or so, Prescott will fall even lower in the pecking order.

Like we said, these odds are a fallacy.