Quarterbacks have been all the rage this NFL offseason and the new league year hasn’t even technically begun yet. We have already seen the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions agree to a trade involving Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff. Not long after, the Philadelphia Eagles finally properly waved the white flag when they dealt Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. While all of this has been going on the Dallas Cowboys, for much longer than this by the way, have been in contract negotiations with their quarterback in Dak Prescott.
2021 is the third year in a row in which Dallas and Prescott have been looking to strike terms on contract extension. The third instance is either going to be the charm or the strikeout, and much of the reason for the leverage that Prescott has had to this point has been that he plays the most important position in the game, and that it is difficult to find a proper replacement when you move on from one.
What if there was an adequate replacement, though? And what if they wanted to play for the Cowboys?
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s preferred list of teams if he were to be traded includes the Dallas Cowboys
On Thursday, via The Athletic, we got an inside look at how the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson got to the point where a divorce between them might happen.
Talks have been surrounding Wilson and his status in Seattle for a few weeks now. We have spoken about it here due to the fact that the Cowboys should be considering quarterback options given that - at the moment - they don’t have a starter under contract for 2021, and for what it’s worth oddsmakers have suggested that Wilson to Dallas is fairly probable.
Just this week NFL Network’s Mike Silver intimated that the price the Seahawks could be seeking if they were to deal Russell Wilson would involve three first-round picks. Wilson is obviously an extremely talented quarterback, but he is over the age of 30 and carries a huge contract with him. Giving up capital for that when, if you’re the Cowboys, you could sign your own quarterback (who admittedly is inferior to Wilson at the moment) seems like making three rights when you could make a left.
If you thought this story was just something to chill and sit in the corner, then think again. A few hours after the story of discord between Wilson and his team broke, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that while the quarterback has not asked to be traded that if he were to be dealt the Dallas Cowboys would be on his list of preferred teams.
Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade, his agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN. Wilson has told the Seahawks he wants to play in Seattle but, if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, Bears.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2021
Russell Wilson is an extremely calculated person and player. He is well aware that his words have weight which is why when he originally spoke on The Dan Patrick Show and talked about his issues with the Seahawks, he knew what would happen.
This is relevant because Russell Wilson knows what invoking the name of the Dallas Cowboys can do to trade negotiations. His current teammate in Seattle, Jamal Adams, played that card once upon a time to the point that he got what he wanted as well. It is totally true that Wilson could actually want to play for the Cowboys, but if they help accelerate him getting whatever he wants wherever that is, so be it.
All of that being said, it would seemingly be extremely unwise of the Cowboys to go down this path. While nobody can say with a straight face that Dak Prescott is superior to Russell Wilson, the difference between them is not worth the reported asking price.
It is true that Wilson’s contract is friendlier than whatever Prescott’s is ultimately going to be, ironically Dallas had a chance to beat Seattle in negotiating with him back in 2019 with Dak Prescott, but if you are giving up a treasure chest worth of first-round picks you are taking a step back in a certain capacity.
What’s more is that the Seahawks aren’t exactly going to be inclined to trade Wilson. Outside of him their team is hardly one to be excited about, and moving him would mean that they have to take on $39M against their salary cap.
People will naturally want to say that the Cowboys could send Dak Prescott to the Seahawks as part of a package to acquire Wilson, but the thing about that is is that it isn’t a simple thing to pull off. While Wilson is currently under contract Prescott is not. The sequence of this would necessitate the Cowboys placing the franchise tag on Dak, him signing it, and then agreeing to go to Seattle all in the name of helping the Cowboys.
It all seems rather impractical and difficult to logistically pull off, but Wilson offers the Cowboys something important that no other quarterback (excluding Dak Prescott obviously) does at the moment - a way out.
The Cowboys clearly want to win in their standoff with Dak Prescott, publicly speaking. If they ultimately bend the knee and cave to his contract demands the situation will ultimately be seen as them blinking and him getting the better of them. Wilson - again, a clear upgrade over Prescott - would present them getting better at the position and doing so on their terms, pulling off some grand master plan that they would have seemingly lucked into. Rob “Stats” Guerrera and I spoke to ProFootballTalk’s Charean Williams about the importance of Dallas needing to “win” this whole thing on the latest episode of The SB Nation NFL Show which you can listen to right above here.
Time will tell whether there is legitimate life to the idea of Russell Wilson joining the Cowboys. For now it all seems a bit farfetched, but we are at this point, it is certainly possible that it could go all the way.