Dak Prescott and the Cowboys had a lot riding on this year. Not only on the field, but how it affected their upcoming offseson. There are contracts to settle and how Dak Prescott performed will play into that.
Did Dak Prescott slump toward the end of the 2019 season? I think the answer is yes. It hasn’t been a tremendous “fall off the mountain” kind of slump, but he definitely wasn’t as sharp over the last five games as he was at the start of the year. For instance, his three lowest completion percentage games have happened within the last five games. Three of his lowest QB rating games have occurred in the last five. The stats go on. Additionally, in some of the recent games, he was able to pad his stats in garbage time or things would look worse.
This isn’t to place sole blame on Prescott for the Cowboys nose-diving toward the end of the season. He has gotten plenty of help from receivers dropping passes, questionable play-calling, the Cowboys stubborn insistence on running on first down, and a defense that is having various issues. We shouldn’t confuse the idea of criticizing Prescott’s recent efforts with blaming him. They are not equivalent. Additionally, the standard he had set for the first two-thirds of the season was one he was likely to come down from anyway.
Still, there is out-of-proportion praise and blame heaped on NFL quarterbacks for one simple reason, they are the most important player on the field and the one player that can most affect a teams ups and downs. It is what it is.
As we’ve been tied up in trying to figure out what is going with the Cowboys and following their still happening pursuit of the playoffs, the fact that Prescott will be a free agent at season’s end has been pushed aside. The Cowboys still need to work out a long-term deal with Prescott.
Earlier this year, Prescott was praised for betting on himself as his stats soared and at times the Cowboys looked like an NFC contender. The common refrain each week was that Prescott keeps increasing the check he will get at the end of the season. So is the reverse true as his team has stumbled and his play has flattened somewhat? Are the Cowboys still as in love with him as before?
According to Stephen Jones, the answer is yes.
Have you gotten a fair look at a, potentially, $35 million QB?
Jones: We have all the confidence in the world in Dak. We’ve never blinked on that. We had a very aggressive offer out there every step of the way. We certainly understood that if he stepped it up — and I think Dak has given us every opportunity to have success this year. I’m as bullish about Dak as I’ve ever been.
In some ways Stephen is correct. Dak was among the elite QBs for much of the season, that can’t be forgotten. Even during the Cowboys downturn, Prescott wasn’t awful (although the last Eagles game was pretty bad), so there is certainly enough evidence that he can play at the level needed. But he wasn’t able to elevate his play and his team at the crucial moments. Until he proves that, the question will always be there.
In the end, the Cowboys must sign Prescott. He is too valuable a commodity to let walk and the Cowboys certainly have no intention of letting that happen. Nor should they. Prescott has built a foundation and should continue to grow. A deal must come.
You just have to hope that Cowboys management grows, that includes coaches and front office. For instance, just last week we had Stephen Jones arguing that the problem with the Cowboys running game was they weren’t sticking with it enough. Anybody watching the Cowboys repeatedly run the ball on first down against the Eagles on Sunday would disagree with that statement. Then you have this statement.
If you take away the drops that we had that were really not like our receiving corps, Dak still threw the ball well. I know he missed a few key ones, but, most quarterbacks during the course of a game are going to miss a few passes.
Drops that were really not like our receiving corps? Has he watched the Cowboys 2019 season? Drops were one of the defining characteristics of the Cowboys receiving corps in 2019. And missing a few passes by the quarterback is a true statement, but a quarterback who wants to be great, who wants to be thought of as among the elite, can’t miss an open Tavon Austin for a touchdown in one of the most-important moments of what is essentially a playoff game. There was also a pass to Michael Gallup that would have been a big gain on the final drive if Prescott would have led him inside.
That’s not something management should just turn a blind eye to. Dropped passes and inaccurate throws are not something in today’s NFL that you can easily write off.
Prescott knows that and one of the best traits about him is he always takes responsibility for what he does. He never throws anyone under the bus. The Cowboys must sign him. Then figure out how to create a great team out of great parts.