For the better part of the offseason, the focus of the Cowboys has been on a looming extension for quarterback Dak Prescott. It’s a great debate among fans as to what Prescott’s value is and where it sits among other franchise signal-callers. Dak Prescott’s value is placed all over the spectrum.
Like Tony Romo before him, Dak Prescott is one of, if not, the most undervalued quarterbacks in the league. During a “Good Morning Football” telecast this week, former NFL receiver, Nate Burleson decided to pay some respect to the Cowboys’ quarterback:
“The most undervalued individual, it has to be Dak Prescott,” Burleson said on Friday morning. “Forget about the playoff appearances in the last couple years, forget about the fourth-quarter comebacks. How about just the simple number of wins? Since he’s been in the league in 2016, second-most QB wins with 32. So with all this conversation about ‘should they pay Dak Prescott? How much are they going to pay Dak Prescott? Is it in the 20s? Is it in the 30s?’ When you look at what he’s been able to do versus the guys that are already getting paid big dollar signs...”
On our podcast, Brews and the Boys, my colleague Tom Ryle and I have long argued that projected numbers where Prescott earns less than $30M+ per season should be thrown out. The latest news this week from NFL reporter Jane Slater about no hometown discounts suggests that Tom and I are correct in our assumption.
“I’m told that Todd France, who is the agent for Dak Prescott, they’re not taking a hometown deal,” Slater said on Good Morning Football. “He’s completely overperformed as that overall 135th pick, so expect him to hold out, get paid what he deserves, especially when you consider what Carson Wentz got. He’s been a lot more durable, and you could argue he’s probably done a little bit more than Wentz in his time in Dallas.”
Hometown discounts? Don’t hold your breath, Prescott has already been playing on quite the discount since signing his rookie deal. It’s time to pay the man and the Cowboys likely will have him inked to a much larger deal than his detractors can stomach.
Dak Prescott is not going to take anything less than every penny he has earned which will most assuredly start in the 30’s not 20’s:
“For somebody to say you can only take so much because of the salary cap or you can only do this or that, I don’t know how fair that is to say,” Prescott said. “Because with gambling, with everything going into this league, everything is going to continue to keep going up.
“It’s important for all these guys to get every bit of their worth. I want to see Zeke the highest paid. I want to see Amari the highest paid. I want to see myself up there. And I don’t think any of that is too far-fetched. Because at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, a year or two later, you’re not going to be the highest paid. That’s just the way the game goes.”
Jane Slater made quite the point to elaborate on here, Dak Prescott has an argument to get paid like his counterpart for the Eagles, Carson Wentz. Dak has started 48 games and is 32-16 compared to Carson Wentz’s 40 starts and 23-17 record. Wentz has a ring and therefore is averaging $32M per season but concerns about his durability are viable. The numbers between these two young quarterbacks are not that different:
Currently, there are five quarterbacks averaging $30M or more per season (in order): Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan. All but Matt Ryan have a Super Bowl ring.
When talking about future quarterback extensions, you don’t get to pay yesterday’s prices. Any of the projections out there in the same ballparks of what Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins, and Derek Carr were paid. It’s constantly moving forward not backwards so trying to fit Prescott in between $25-28M per season is wishful thinking. Not only is Prescott younger than those five guys but he’s been more successful too.
Dak Prescott came into the league and repalced the franchise’s statistical leader in just about every category. He tied the franchise record for most wins as a rookie, has two division titles (13-5 in the NFC East) in four seasons. Prescott has the second-highest win percentage in the NFL since 2016, and just pulled himself up by the bootstraps to climb out of a slump and lead his team into the postseason. A lot of NFL quarterbacks have been paid market value for producing less than Dak Prescott. When trying to place value on him, ask where the Cowboys would be without him and $30M per year doesn’t seem too steep to pay. It’s a quarterback-driven league and Dak Prescott puts the Cowboys in a better position than most teams to succeed.