The Dallas Cowboys are in familiar territory, though it is anything but comfy-cozy. Dallas fell 12-19 at the hands of the hated 49ers and all eyes on are number 4, per the usual. Dak Prescott put up 206 yards with one touchdown and 2 interceptions. He faced the number one defense in the NFL according to ProFootball Focus, but as we know, expectations are always different when it comes to Dallas.
So this week the pundits and talking heads are all having the same debate. It is not about any of the four teams remaining in the playoffs because, well, they just don’t get the clicks like America’s Team. The whole sports world asks the question, should Dallas move on from Dak Prescott? Let us look at this from a logical standpoint to see if it is even logical for Dallas to move on from Dak.
The Contract for Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott is signed through 2024 and carries a no-trade clause. He will count 49 million against the cap while earning a 31 million dollar base salary. This contract does compare well with other quarterbacks of similar statistical output. You can view the entire list of QB contracts here. Dak’s yearly average ranks 9th in the NFL behind less-accomplished quarterbacks such as Kyler Murray, Derek Carr, and Deshaun Watson.
As you can see, what was once thought to be a ridiculous contract is no longer a rarity. It is simply the going rate for a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Dak can hit free agency if he chooses in 2025. Therefore, there is little reason to believe that any team will give Dallas the necessary compensation to warrant a trade.
Simply cutting Dak Prescott would result in a net loss of nearly 130 million dollars, so Dallas is highly unlikely to move on from Dak.
The Weapons for Dak Prescott
Given the contract and encouraging moments in Dak Prescott’s career, it seems likely that Prescott is with Dallas for two more seasons at minimum. So is that it? Are the Cowboys destined for disappointment for what is left of Dak’s tenure? They very well could be if there isn’t a paradigm shift in the front office.
Stephen Jones decided it was time to move on from Amari Cooper in 2022. Cooper was acquired in 2018 for a first-round pick after the Cowboys’ offense sputtered to start the year. The Cowboys netted a 5th-round pick in return which turned out to be DaRon Bland. Bland led the team with five interceptions, but the move left a glaring weakness on offense.
The Cowboys rightly believed that CeeDee Lamb could ascend to number one wide receiver status, but badly misjudged the effectiveness of fifth-year wideout Michael Gallup. The latter received a five-year contract despite coming off a late-season ACL tear in 2021. Gallup never got right this season as he had more games of zero yards than games of fifty yards. That won’t cut it for a number two option.
Dallas spent most of November in a flirtation with Odell Beckham Jr. but opted instead for the more readily available T.Y. Hilton. The former Colt had his moments but failed to provide a consistent threat in the game that mattered most.
Now that it is all said and done, the front office expected Dak Prescott to elevate a group of unproven and unhealthy pass-catchers to Super Bowl contention. If we look at the teams remaining in the tournament, three of the four have an embarrassment of riches on the offensive side of the ball.
The Eagles traded for A.J. Brown. The 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey to add to an already nasty unit, and the Bengals boast the best 1-2 punch in the league at wide receiver with a Pro Bowl-level running back. These teams get it.
Patrick Mahomes is the only guy making magic with one proven weapon, and it is no debate that he is the best at the position right now.
If Jones and Co. expect Dak Prescott to be Patrick Mahomes “he’s not” then they should just try to retain and draft new talent this offseason. If not, they must add talent to the wide receiver room and if they do, they will watch Dak Prescott take the next step. The question becomes whether or not the Jones’ can admit their mistakes and be willing to address them this summer.
Do you believe they will be agressive in free agency and help Dak Prescott? Will they use a top pick on a playmaking wideout? Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter for more Cowboys content.