The 2020 free agent class for quarterbacks is quite a strong one.
Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, all top names looking for new contracts or homes. A name not to be left out is Dak Prescott‘s. An obvious talent that any franchise would be lucky to have. How should the Dallas Cowboys approach handling his demands for a new contract? Let us take a look.
Dallas as a franchise want to keep him, for now the fans seem to like him and owner Jerry Jones is a massive fan, so why the lack of a deal?
The Cowboys are a business and Jones is a businessman, if there seem to be hesitations or demands that do not suit Dallas they’re not going to rush in, even if they do like the guy. They do have to be careful on the other hand, as they do not want him to slip away and ultimately have Prescott make the decision for them by choosing to go. In all likelihood this will not happen but keep on stalling with negotiations anything could happen.
A few options are available to Dallas moving forward.
Firstly, and maybe the option least likely to happen is they let him go and he enters free agency. If Dallas were to let this happen, they need to have a solid plan in place with a more than suitable replacement lined up. With the players that Dallas already have on the roster, a lot of talk in the media suggests that Tom Brady would be a good fit. A considerable amount cheaper for them at thirty million over two years, he could free up a nice bit of cap space for more improvements to the team.
Obviously, this is speculation as Brady has not given much away about whether he is staying in New England. From the other perspective the top free teams with cap space, Miami, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay are all looking for their franchise quarterback. This could potentially be a head turner if they are willing to give him what he wants.
The next option and potentially a very risky one would be to put a franchise tag on Prescott.
The Cowboys had a potential to put this to bed last off season but stalled on the demands of the player. With the player wanting to get the deal done and secure his future, a tag could upset him more as it means another year without a negotiated contract. For example, Prescott could cause minor disruptions to preparations by missing training/workout sessions as a reaction to a tag. To sum up, the Cowboys would be taking a massive risk by letting such a good player go to free agency or by franchise tagging him.
Another and maybe more obvious option would be to give him what he wants.
The question is, is he worth it?
On the face it, yes, he is.
On his day he is an incredibly talented player and has more than enough in him to take Dallas to the playoffs for each of the five years on his potential new contract. The thing is, he has the talent for sure, but does he deserve it?
Performances from last season would suggest no.
This is where the problem for the Cowboys lies. The money he is asking for is elite, but he is not elite, not yet anyway.
In reality, he cannot expect a Patrick Mahomes type contract if he is not delivering playoff football, let alone a Super Bowl. He has quite frankly got to earn it to deserve it. When you compare him to his division rival Carson Wentz you can see that he has not yet earned it.
From roughly the start of November, Wentz had to basically carry the Eagles through to the post season. He had little to no first team talent at his disposal and still managed to win the division and beat Dallas to get there. Does that mean Wentz deserves elite money? Well no, but he did his job and did it well getting the Eagles to where they wanted to be. Dak didn’t do this for the Cowboys and that was with all the weapons he has at his disposal. This could be one of the very strong reasons why Jerry Jones is hesitant to just give him what he wants and is wanting to tread carefully with negotiations.
The 2020 season has a lot of promise for the Dallas Cowboys.
Super Bowl winning coach Mike McCarthy has come in to freshen things up, they will still have a very strong offensive unit and they are also down as having the third easiest schedule in the league. This is a very good opportunity for the Cowboys to put themselves back into the spotlight and be contenders once again. Dak Prescott should be the perfect piece of the puzzle to help move the franchise forward and odds favour on him staying. Dallas do need to approach this contract with caution. Do they want to take such an expensive risk, especially if Dak ends up having another season like the one he has just had.