To start, Dak Prescott has been a fearless leader and teammate to this Cowboys franchise. After previous long-time starter Tony Romo injured his back in preseason and Kellen Moore (now OC) broke his leg in training camp. It’s hard to say where the Cowboys would have been without Dak’s (& Zeke) magical rookie year. Dak saved the Cowboys from another lost season, however, that was six years ago.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t amounted to a Super Bowl victory nor more than a single playoff win. With the Cowboys, potentially, enacting the same past mistakes this begs the question: is Dak’s time with the Cowboys coming to a close?
How did it start?
After the aforementioned injuries, Dak Prescott found himself as rookie starting for this historic Cowboys franchise. Dak, along with fellow-rookie Ezekiel Elliott, led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in 2016 completing their turnaround a season ago, after finishing 4-12. They secured the NFC title and a first round bye. Ultimately, they fell short to Aaron Rodgers and a knuckle ball last second kick in the Divisional round.
After an amazing season, it was clear the Cowboys were set to move on from Romo for Dak which ultimately led to Romo’s retirement. Cowboys fans everywhere were ecstatic to see what Dak (and Zeke) could bring this franchise.
What has he done since?
Dak Prescott has showed tremendous development over the last six years. He’s received several awards, including, Offensive Rookie of the Year (2016) and x2 Pro Bowl (’16 & ’18). Through 86 games, Dak has throw for 22,217 yards, 143 touchdowns and 51 interceptions and adding 1,471 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. His win/loss record of 53-33 (including ’22 loss), reaching the playoffs 3 times and holding a 1-3 record.
Over the course of these past 6 seasons, Dak has shown glimpses of brilliance.
The Dallas Cowboys are visiting the New York Giants in Week 17.
Last time this happened was the 2018 season… and Dak Prescott threw this game-winning touchdown to Cole Beasley. (via @thecheckdown) pic.twitter.com/5GdcAUlaPr
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 31, 2020
While some were questionable:
Dak Prescott throws an interception on third down. Bad throw. pic.twitter.com/CyxKOVE1FN
— DIE-HARD 🦅 Fans (@Eaglesfans9) November 24, 2019
Even with occasional bad play, questionable throws and errant throws; Dak’s winning percentage spoke volumes to management and the fan base. This encouraged Dak to fight for the contract extension he felt he deserved and bet on himself in 2020. You’ll recall this season is the season that saw Dak have his ankle compound fractured on a tackle from Logan Ryan against the Giants.
Cowboys fans understood the impact Dak had on this team. The cowboys began cycling through a trio of quarterbacks searching for a replacement. They sought services from Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. With Dak, the Cowboys were 2-3 and finished the year with a 4-7 (6-10) record.
In March 2021, Dak received his well-deserved four-year extension for $160 million and $126 million guaranteed. Last season, Dak started off hot with a 5-1 record and many speculated he’d be a MVP candidate. That said, Dak injured his right calf on his game winning throw to CeeDee Lamb against the Patriots in week 6. This led to Dak missing week 8 matchup with the Vikings.
Once Dak returned, he seemed out of place and his play seemed to regress, overnight. Dak finished the season 6-4 (12-5) and the Cowboys, again, saw their season end in a Wild Card matchup against the 49ers.
What does the future hold?
Currently, Dak is two years away from becoming a free agent. Based on the level of pressure and expectations of Cowboys QBs, it’s becoming harder to think the Cowboys will not move on from Dak.
Let’s take a look at some of the Cowboys options:
To note, I don’t expect Jerry Jones and company to sign a franchise quarterback, but we can humor this option. Next year, we will see Lamar Jackson on the free agent market. Lamar is looking for a mega deal as well and depending on the seriousness the Cowboys have for winning, they may be crazy enough to take this chance. Still, it’s hard to think with Dak’s current contract (details here) that we will see a pursuit of any meaningful free agent over the next couple years.
The cornerstone of this franchise is building through the draft. Jerry Jones ego faults him in this aspect, as this give him the option to say “I drafted him”. We’ll have to check back in to see where the Cowboys are to begin developing an idea of who may be available to them.
The 2023 projected NFL QBs shows promising names such as: Stroud (OSU) Young (Bama) Van Dyke (Miami) and Levis (UK). While the 2024 QB class projects names: Williams (USC) Ewers (Texas) Huard (UW) and Maye (UNC). There’s plenty of talent over the next few years that the Cowboys could draft that would be excellent candidates to replace Dak.
More of a pipe-dream, my wildest speculation is the Cowboys constructed Dak’s contract, with intentions on drafting Arch Manning. Arch Manning’s draft eligibility is in 2025, which is Dak’s free agent year. This could lead to the Cowboys tanking their season in hopes to get the top draft selection for the 2026 draft and drafting Arch.
We will see what the Cowboys have in store moving forward.
Since writing this entry, Dak could return in 4 weeks from his injury. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him on the field soon.
For other related articles from our writers!
- Dak Prescott’s Injury Effect or Development by Nick Mitchell
- Dak Prescott says not to panic by Julius Luchs
- Dak could return sooner than expected by Jared Montalto
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