One of the issues that the Dallas Cowboys front office will likely have to deal with this offseason is the contractual status of their quarterback, Dak Prescott.
Prescott is a non-first-round pick entering his fourth season so he is eligible to sign an extension. Given Prescott is a fourth-round pick, he would probably very much like to sign an extension.
This subject is a bull in a china shop with Cowboys fans everywhere. There’s a large contingency of folks who do not want to see the team pay Dak Prescott top dollar because they want to see him do more.
Back in May of last year, after Matt Ryan signed his huge deal and before Aaron Rodgers signed his own, we talked about how Dak Prescott could flirt with becoming the highest-paid player in the NFL. The logic here isn’t that Prescott is, or isn’t, worth a serious pay day based on his on-the-field performance, but more of an acknowledgement of what the market is for quarterbacks. If you can play the position to a moderate degree odds are you are going to be happy when you’re eligible for an extension.
Dak Prescott compares favorably to Derek Carr, who became the NFL’s highest-paid player after his own third season
If you rewind two years you’ll find yourself at a point in time where an NFL team was led to the playoffs by a quarterback who wore number four that made a living out of delivering balls to Amari Cooper. Sounds familiar, right?
The Oakland Raiders of 2016 were a playoff team that ultimately had to make their way in the postseason without Derek Carr (who was injured on Christmas Eve), but that didn’t stop them from paying him in the offseason. Oakland didn’t just pay Carr, they made him the richest man to ever play in the National Football League by giving him a five-year, $125M extension.
Maybe you feel that Derek Carr didn’t deserve that money then, but the fact remains that it’s a market that lends itself to the benefit of those who line up behind center. If Derek Carr could command that much cheese after his third season, what’s to say that Dak Prescott can’t (from a practicality standpoint)? Here’s how they stack up against one another three seasons in, perhaps the most telling point of all.
|Derek Carr||1,055 of 1,732 (61%)||11,194||81 (0 rushing)||31||22-25|
|Dak Prescott||975 of 1,475 (66.1%)||10,876||67 (18 rushing)||25||32-16|
It’s interesting how both of the seasons in question (each quarterback’s third) came during Amari Cooper’s best one on each respective team, but more importantly it’s worth mentioning that Dak Prescott has won two division titles during his three seasons while Derek Carr had (and has to this day) not won a single one. Carr didn’t play in Oakland’s lone playoff game as mentioned, but Dak has a 1-2 career record in the postseason having won for the first time just a few weeks ago.
The NFL in 2019 is a league geared towards the quarterback position. How the game is played, the rules put in place, and all of the surrounding details all lean to the benefit of that particular position. It makes sense that the same rules of engagement would apply for how matters are handled financially.
Dak Prescott plays quarterback, and from a statistical perspective he does so in step with some of the best of his peers. Brace yourself for a big pay day, but don’t be shocked. This is simply how things work.