The reality that we all now live in was inevitable. We have said countless times that entry into the “I Have A Franchise Quarterback Club” comes with dues that are akin to market rate. That particular value climbs all the time in the National Football League which is a philosophy that the Dallas Cowboys have taken a long time to come around on.
In finally locking down Dak Prescott to a long-term deal, the Cowboys spent way more money than they had to if they had possessed some foresight back in 2019 or 2020. Frank Sinatra would be proud of them for doing it their way, one that BTB’s own David Howman outlined quite well on Tuesday. There are a lot of lessons for Dallas to have learned from this saga.
At the end of the day though, the deal is done. We march onward. The Cowboys front office deserves credit - however small - for finally realizing this has always been what was best.
The Dallas Cowboys finally faced facts when it came to Dak Prescott
In an ideal world, the Cowboys will have learned from how they handled contracts with DeMarcus Lawrence, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott in recent memory and figure out that being proactive (especially at important positions) always costs less. The deal got done, though, and that is what we are here to celebrate.
Why are we celebrating? We have been on a trek through the wilderness on this subject that has lasted over two years. Consider that when negotiations first opened between Prescott and the Cowboys that many people still thought highly of Game of Thrones.
Something that people have leaned on in times of peril between the Cowboys and a player on the verge of escaping to free agency has been that Jerry Jones never loses a player that he truly wants. This is generally true.
They took care of it. They took care of it. They took care of it.
We can start to believe that the Cowboys are taking things more seriously
Nobody is saying that the Cowboys are exempt from criticism with regards to the bumbling nature of how they handled this over the last ~750 days, but they took care of it and did so before the NFL’s franchise tag deadline even landed. That is notable.
When we spoke to Emmitt Smith during the week of the Super Bowl, he said that he didn’t understand what was taking so long as far as a Dak Prescott deal was concerned. What’s more is that Smith added that soon enough this was potentially going to fester into the team’s locker room and become a thing that they all had to deal with. His own contract situation was very similar to that in 1993.
“And the Cowboys are leaving it open to everybody like us to question. To pick holes at it. And I don’t know if it’s because they want to stay relevant in the news and be newsworthy, but at some point, this nitpicking, is going to filter its way right into the entire team. And it’s going to hurt the entire organization in the end.”
This team is coming off of a season that really challenged them. They were “contenders” for the league’s worst division and saw themselves flexed off of Sunday Night Football for the first time in the program’s current iteration (which began in 2006). Morale, to be frank, was low.
Getting something done with Dak Prescott this offseason was pivotal for the Cowboys, but more than that it was essential that the organization got it done ahead of free agency. Allowing this subject to continue to hang in the balance would mean more uncertainty surrounding a group that didn’t need anymore. What this team needed was an announced direction and point to follow. That point is now clearly number four.
Imagine if you were a would-be free agent debating between the Cowboys and someone else, whoever else, and that Dallas had placed the franchise tag on Dak Prescott, still in purgatory as far as his long-term future. Why would you have committed to the team when they were so clearly unsure of who they were going to be and what their plans were even for this next upcoming season?
The Cowboys took three rights to get here when they could have easily just taken a left, but at the very least they got here and they can now start to move forward deeper into the offseason without any sort of big-time thing hanging over their heads.
When was the last time that this was the case?