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NFL Network analyst on paying Dak Prescott, “let’s push this back one more year”

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Dak bet on himself, but did he lose? One analyst believes Prescott has more to prove before deserving a big pay day.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys need to get Dak Prescott signed so they can focus on more important things like winning the Super Bowl. The front office wants to get Prescott locked up for a good price, and Dak and his representatives are trying to extract as much money as they can from the Jones family. That’s the business of the NFL.

There’s a lot of debate about how to handle this situation, with opinions all over the place. Recently, the folks over at NFL Network got into a Dak contract discussion, and one of them suggested that the Cowboys should wait another year before ponying up the cash for a lucrative deal.

Nate Burleson: Why are we not appreciating Dak Prescott like we’re appreciating other quarterbacks who have done less to start their career? Pay him.

Peter Schrager: Cause they were 7-7 and went to Philadelphia and lost a Boston Scott and Josh Perkins and my man Greg Ward. He could’ve earned it in a lot of different ways this season, and he bet on himself, which I respect and love, but they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

It’s true, that in the biggest game of the season, Prescott and the Cowboys offense couldn’t even find the end zone. Maybe an injured finger played a part in that, but then again - Dak does have his moments where he struggles in games. In fact, in each month the Cowboys played in last year, Dak had a game where he didn’t throw a single touchdown (stats courtesy of NFL Football Reference). It should come as no surprise that Dallas didn’t win any of those games.

That’s three games where the Cowboys never scored more than 10 points as well as the New York Jets debacle. There are plenty of great games sprinkled in there, but are Prescott’s failures in crucial games really a reason to give pause in signing him to a long term deal? Schrager continues saying another season to prove himself is in order.

Schrager: So to me, franchise seems just about right. Let’s push this back one more year. Let’s give you the average the top five quarterbacks. Let’s go at it again. Let’s see what the new coach Mike McCarthy and some new pieces, maybe you bring Amari back, maybe you don’t, but whatever it is - based on this past season, I can’t say that was a ‘break the bank, oh my God, you shut everyone up, it’s undeniably you have to pay him Russell Wilson money.’ To me, the happy medium is a franchise tag, one more year, pay him his $30 and let’s see what we do next year.

Is it worth waiting to see how Dak does under this new coaching staff? If the Cowboys have greater success under McCarthy, that will only drive his price up higher; however, they’ll feel even better about the quarterback they’re signing to a huge contract.

Of course, there is very little doubt about how the front office feels about Dak, so that’s not the issue. The hold up with this ordeal is the price. Waiting another season where Dak leads the team to greater success is not going to bode well in saving money on Stephen Jones’ books. The only thing that does is cost the Cowboys more money in the long run.

You can look at some big games at the end of the year that didn’t go so well for Prescott. These games include playoff losses where the Cowboys have fell behind 18 points to Green Bay (2016) and 16 points to Los Angeles (2018). They also include Week 16 games against Seattle (2017) and Philadelphia (2019) where the offense never found the end zone, and the Cowboys playoff hopes were crushed. If these concerns are what’s driving the hesitancy to commit to Dak - fine, but we know better.

The Cowboys want to get a deal done, and there is no reason to prolong this any further. The franchise tag may be used, but if it is, it’s likely just a placeholder to keep other teams from driving up his price while the Cowboys are in negotiations.