When the Dallas Cowboys signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal it became pretty clear that he was their guy. But after leading the league in interceptions last year (despite missing five games), not everyone is convinced he’s the right guy for the job. Regardless of where you are when it comes to Dak, this is the direction the team is going.
The front office believes in Prescott, but their actions over the next several months could determine just how much they believe in him. Will they push hard to get Dak more help, or will they hope that more moments of excellence are coming when Prescott was cooking up a storm with the groceries he already had?
Everyone has their own thoughts on what the Cowboys need to do to get better so over the next ten days we are going to break down each position group and offer up what the organization needs to do this offseason. We’ll kick things off with the game’s most important position - the quarterback.
WHAT WE KNOW
The Cowboys are all in with Dak Prescott. He’s their quarterback for now and he’s their quarterback for later. He’s also taking up a lot of cap space. His 21.5% of the pie makes things hard in terms of putting enough talent around him to win football games. It’s doable though, but it would be a lot easier if the Cowboys pushed some of that base salary into future years.
And that’s what the front office will attempt to do this offseason. If both sides can agree, we will see a contract extension tacking on more years to Prescott’s deal. If they can’t, then the front office will do some bookkeeping magic and just convert some of his base salary (they can go as high as $22,376,250) into bonus money. In either instance, these moves show an unwavering belief in Prescott.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
Who will be backing up Dak in 2023? Cooper Rush did a great job over the last couple of seasons playing in six games and helping the team win five of them. He doesn’t offer any high-level quarterback play, but he also doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Rush gets the ball out quickly and plays within himself and that’s a valuable trait in a backup. So, the question becomes, will they bring him back? And if they do, how much would it cost this time around?
And what about a third-string quarterback? They have Will Grier under contract for another year at a low cost of just $1 million, but has he shown enough in his development to keep him around? Or have they seen enough and to where they go in a different direction?
WHAT THE COWBOYS SHOULD DO
Freeing up cap space from Dak’s contract is the easy part. Finding a quality backup is a different story as that doesn’t always go as planned. Retaining Cooper is the safe play if the price is right, but there are other options out there if the team turns over the right rocks. What about Mike White who the Cowboys drafted in 2018? Or Jeff Driskell who visited with the team in 2021 and who we know was stacked one spot higher than Prescott courtesy of the 2016 leaked draft board.
The team needs to put the work in to ensure they have a solid quarterback behind Prescott. After not missing a game in his first four seasons, Dak has now missed action in three straight years. With missing a stretch of games being a real possibility, the ability of their backup could be the difference in whether a team makes it to the postseason or not.
And it wouldn’t hurt them to take a flyer on a quarterback late in the draft that they could develop into a future backup. You never know when a team is going to have to reach deep into their bucket of depth and hope to pull out a Brock Purdy.