For the first time maybe ever, Dak Prescott apologists are neutral about his contract situation. Though extending Prescott is the clearest path for the Dallas Cowboys to compete for a Super Bowl next season, it's fair to question whether giving Prescott top-of-the-market money would be a sound business decision.
Prescott's playoff resume took another crushing hit after the Cowboys were humiliated by the Packers in the wild card round in January. While Prescott was far from the only underachiever in the game, the loss marked another poor playoff outing from the QB after he dominated during the regular season.
The team's performance as a collective incensed multiple Cowboys legends, including Emmitt Smith. The former Super Bowl MVP spoke with FanSided ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl and was adamant that there are only a handful of quarterbacks in today's NFL that are worthy of praise.
Smith was very complimentary of Prescott, but stopped short of stating that he can lead the Cowboys to the mountaintop. Fast forward to the 31:00 minute mark in the video below for Smith's interview.
Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith reveals hard truth about Dak Prescott
"Even though Dak Prescott has proven that he can throw the football, there is so much more upside with Prescott than there are with some other quarterbacks. He's shown that he can lead a team to 12 wins," Smith said. "He's shown that he can overcome adversity and bounce back. He's shown that he can read coverages. He's shown that he can be a complete quarterback. Now, can he take it to the next level? Yes he can."
Don't freak out, Cowboys Nation. That wasn't the end of Smith's Dak analysis.
"There's some (QBs) that have already tapped out and they can't go to the next level. I'm looking for Josh Allen now to take it to the next level. Can he become that elite quarterback versus trying to be Lamar Jackson all the time. That kind of stuff. Can Lamar become a better passer and read coverages a lot better to help his team become better. Those are areas of improvement for guys like Dak."
The points Smith made are the biggest questions hanging over Prescott's career. After eight seasons as the Cowboy starting QB (seven if you discount the 2021 season due to his ankle injury), Prescott is 2-5 in the playoffs with six interceptions in the five losses.
Smith believes Prescott has untapped potential, but entering his age-31 season in 2024, it's fair to wonder whether he'll ever realize it.
Emmitt Smith participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of NARCAN nasal spray.