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Cowboys news: Dallas’ quarterback situation continues to get more intriguing

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Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The franchise tag deadline doesn’t matter for Dak Prescott, Cowboys, and that’s a problem - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News

The problem in the Prescott negotiations.

Because I have to tell you, I don’t get the impression either side feels motivated. If I’d had deadlines with these kinds of penalties back in college, I’d still be holding out with my business law professor. The negotiations between Dak and Jerry Jones are no less interminable.

No matter what you may think of Dak — and you’re all on record — he’s still a good quarterback. Is he worth $40 million a year, the latest rumored price? Certainly debatable. But you should know that when this all started more than two years ago, the Cowboys were reportedly offering $33 million a year. Now, I can barely negotiate the gentle turn in my driveway, but it sure seems like Dak is winning.

He certainly has Jerry Jones’ respect, and I don’t mean as a quarterback. Jerry had already conceded that they consider Dak the man to lead their team. He also conceded recently that Dak holds all the leverage in contract talks. Think what he’s saying with that admission.

No matter what you may think of Jerry — and you’re all on record — he’s still a terrific businessman. He didn’t get where he is by splitting differences.

Every Top NFL Free Agent’s Biggest Red Flag - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

How much will this matter, if at all?

1. QB Dak Prescott

The Ankle Injury

There aren’t too many red flags surrounding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as a player. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler who was leading the NFL with 1,856 passing yards when he was injured in Week 5 this past season.

And while Prescott did suffer a season-ending ankle fracture, it’s not the type of injury that should physically affect him over the long term. Still, teams cannot completely discount the injury, since it could impact both Prescott’s mobility in 2021 and his ability to prepare for the season.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones estimated that Prescott’s recovery would put him back on the field for spring practices. However, that doesn’t mean Prescott can or will be a full participant or will be 100 percent in football shape by training camp.

Teams will also have to do their own medical checks on Prescott to assess the risk of re-injury, and there’s always the question of how it could affect his confidence. Will Prescott be the same mobile, confident gunslinger coming off an undoubtedly excruciating injury?

It may take time for Prescott to settle back into being the player he was pre-injury, and it could be a longer process if he lands with a team that doesn’t feature the supporting cast that Dallas does. The loss of confidence and ensuing decline of Carson Wentz could serve as a cautionary tale here, even if Prescott’s injury recovery is—in theory—a more routine one than Wentz’s return from a torn ACL in 2018.

Dallas Cowboys: 4 potential backup quarterback options - Connor Green, The Landry Hat

The Cowboys also need a backup QB.

Last year America’s Team was plagued with inconsistent play and injuries from the start of the regular season. The organization suffered several significant injuries throughout the course of 2020 with the most notable one coming in Dallas’s week five matchup against the New York Giants. In that game, their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, went down with a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury.

Heading into that game Prescott was on pace to break Peyton Mannings’ single-season passing yardage record and the offense had scored at least 30 points in three of its first four games. In the teams’ next seven games they only managed to achieve that feat once. Needless to say, Dallas suffered without its starting signal-caller on the field.

The remainder of the season served as a stark reminder of the importance of having a quality backup quarterback. After that seven-game stretch of immense offensive struggles during which Dallas only managed to win one game, the teams’ veteran backup quarterback Andy Dalton began to get comfortable in the offense.

Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Trading up for a Quarterback - Reid Hanson, SportDfw

Seems like some kind of doomsday scenario.

In this Dallas Cowboys 7-round mock draft we trade Dak Prescott away and trade up for a new QB

If Dak is still only hanging on by the franchise tag come what draft day, the Dallas Cowboys need to seriously consider moving up in the draft to replace him as QB1. They also need to consider trading Prescott while they can get something for him. The moment the draft ends, Dak’s market cuts in half, so the Cowboys need to get their ducks in a row long before the first pick is made.

As always, we utilize The Draft Network for their player rankings and simulator. We also use Dan Brugler’s work at The Athletic for scouting reports, team needs, and mock drafts.

Let’s go replace our quarterback, shall we?

Breaking Down the Cowboys Picks in AJ Schulte’s Complete 7-Round NFL Mock Draft - John Williams, Inside the Star

A comprehensive list of potential draftees:

78. (from Minnesota) D’Ante Smith, OT/G East Carolina

With the injuries the Dallas Cowboys had at tackle last season, it’s never a bad idea to use a pick to get more offensive line help. Not only could D’Ante Smith help fill in at tackle if they suffered injuries to both players, but he could help at guard, where the Cowboys have seen Zack Martin miss time over the last couple of seasons.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty along Dallas’ offensive line, particularly among both of their starting tackles in Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. The situations there are murky right now, but it’s clear that the team needs insurance plans for both players. Enter D’Ante Smith, who is a former wrestler with some positional versatility. He possesses outstanding tools, and letting him grow alongside Tyron Smith would be incredible for his growth. He can play the left guard spot and kick outside if Tyron Smith gets hurt again.”

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