After months of little progress, will Dak Prescott make a deal with the Cowboys? Time to decide is running out. - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
There is so much uncertainty when it comes to the future contract of Dak Prescott, but will we have answers soon? Time is running out.
Revenue and the salary cap are directly correlated. While the exact repercussions of the pandemic are still developing, the NFL and NFL Players Association likely will have to borrow from future years in order to buoy the 2021 cap to a respectable figure, keeping it flat instead of allowing the current $198.2 million figure to tank. So, Prescott’s 20 percent salary increase would come at a time when the cap is static.
Last Monday, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 12-year, $477.6 million contract — with incentives, the potential value is about $503 million. This contract was a landmark development, but it bears little relevance on what the Cowboys and Prescott are working to accomplish.
Mahomes was still playing on his rookie contract. Apples.
Prescott is on the franchise tag. Oranges.
Prescott appears sure to earn more than Mahomes over the next four to five years, at which point he could be scheduled to hit free agency again. By that point, the COVID-19 likely wouldn’t be holding back the cap, and Prescott could strike again while still in his prime.
Where do the two sides stand as we approach the deadline?
“I’m told the Cowboys are not worried right now,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on ‘SportsCenter’ Saturday afternoon. “They’re going to play this up to the deadline, and they’re hoping that Dak Prescott will take their latest, best offer whether that’s a new offer at the deadline or their old offer. They didn’t hash it out a few months ago, it’s been very quiet since then to the point where some league sources believe nothing is going to get done here. Because Dak already signed his franchise tag tender, maybe conceding that nothing is going to get done. The Cowboys feel they’re in a good spot.”
And then what about Dak? Former GM Mike Tannebaum weighs in...
“There is no way he’s going to take less than 37 to 38 million dollars a year on a long-term deal, because Russell Wilson’s at 35 (million), Patrick Mahomes is now at 45 (million), so Dallas blew it from a strategic planning standpoint.”
NFL’s 20 greatest coach-quarterback duos: Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes looking to join list - Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports
One day, we’d love to see the combination of Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy on this list, but for now - we’ll just have to settle for two other Cowboys duo that make the top 20, including...
9. Jimmy Johnson/Troy Aikman
Championships won together: 2
Greatest moment: Super Bowl XXVII
Aikman’s reaction to Johnson receiving his 2020 Hall of Fame induction news tells you everything you need to know about the impact Johnson had on Aikman’s career. After choosing not to play for Johnson (twice) during his college years, Aikman was finally paired with the former University of Miami coach in 1989. After going winless as a rookie, Aikman would quickly blossom into one of the NFL’s best passers, earning six consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 1991-96.
Aikman’s best two seasons (1992-93) were under Johnson, who left the Cowboys after leading Dallas to back-to-back Super Bowl wins. After defeating the 49ers in the NFC title game, Johnson’s Cowboys overwhelmed the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. Johnson’s team was spearheaded by Aikman, who threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns while completing 70% of his pass attempts. The following season, Aikman, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, led the NFL in completion percentage, as Dallas successfully defended its title.
You like analytics? Of course you do, so you should enjoy this one as Hayden Winks runs through 10 metrics and compares where each of these offensive coaches rank. Where did the Cowboys end up?
8. Cowboys (OC Kellen Moore)
4th Down Aggressiveness: 10th
Pass Rate on Early Downs: 18th
Pass Rate While Trailing: 6th Play-Action Rate: 14th
Downfield Pass Rate: 10th
Middle of the Field Pass Rate: 12th
Pre-Snap Motion Percentage: 14th
Outside Run Rate: 18th
Shotgun Run Rate: 17th
Offensive Pace: 2nd
Moving from coach Jason Garrett to coach Mike McCarthy probably makes the Cowboys Offense even more analytically based, although OC Kellen Moore is the true driver of this high ranking. It’s an offense that doesn’t do anything bad — their worst ranking is their outside run rate (18th), which is one of the least meaningful stats I’m evaluating in this column — but the Cowboys Offense doesn’t do anything great either, outside of playing at the second-fastest pace. With the upgrade at head coach, tight end, and third receiver, Dallas has no excuse to not rank higher in 4th-down aggressiveness (10th) and pass rate on early downs (18th) next season. At the bare minimum, they should be utilizing play action far more (14th) if they think Ezekiel Elliott sets up the passing offense. It doesn’t by the way.
The Cowboys struggled to be effective along the interior defensive line, which led to a major overhaul this offseason. The team has a lot of sorting out to do, including what to make of last year’s underwhelming performance of Trysten Hill.
Need to Figure Out:
Hill was inactive for nine games and saw action in just three contests following Week 7. Out of his seven appearances he didn’t record a sack and only forced three pressures along with four tackles in 121 total snaps. All undistinguished tallies especially compared to some defensive tackles taken after his slot at 58. Denver’s Dre’Mont Jones played in 14 games with 3.5 sacks and an interception, while Khalen Saunders started four of his 12 appearances for the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Each were taken after Hill was in the 2019 draft and while those numbers won’t necessarily turn heads, they were contributing as rookies. Something Hill obviously did not do.
This new coaching staff desperately needs to find a role or rotation for Hill to show something in 2020 more than he did a year ago. Keep in mind, there may not be as much loyalty or patience from this coaching regiment than the last one. It’ll be limited action to start with a talented rotation in front of him and in order to see a jump, Hill will have to show off the pass-rush ability that he was touted to have upon declaring for the draft. If he can add to the depth at the position, there’s no worries moving into 2021, but if he fails to perform, it’ll be a topic of conversation on whether or not he would be worth a roster spot.
Mike McCarthy is clearly in favor of analytics. We discuss on the latest episode of Cowboys Hoy.
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