Is Dak Prescott a Franchise QB?
The answer to that question is yes he is a franchise QB, for the Dallas Cowboys. With that in mind, shouldn’t he get a max contract? Not so fast. While he has been a good player for the Cowboys, he’s never been elite. This is where this entire situation becomes very complicated and is the reason why the Cowboys and Prescott can’t seem to come to terms on a deal they can both agree on. Dak Prescott has made his position clear:
There is no easy solution to this dilemma for the Cowboys. They know that Dak’s play on the field does not warrant a max contract but the position he plays means he can ask for it. The issue the Cowboys are having is he wants to be paid on par with the best QB’s in the game and he isn’t one of them.
Few Cowboys fans would name Dak as the best player on his own team, an accolade usually reserved for running back Ezekiel Elliott. If the Cowboys recent success needed to be explained, you would say that they are a team with a top 3 running back who runs behind an elite offensive line. That offense is anchored by one of the best defenses in the NFL. It’s not to say that Dak is an afterthought but the guys that get paid like top tier quarterbacks are the difference makes and the first thing you mention when talking about their respective teams.
This Situation from Dak Prescott’s Viewpoint
He’s the quarterback for America’s team and he’s never had a losing record since taking over as a starter. His team has won division titles two of the last three seasons in which he hasn’t missed a single game. Durability is an underrated quality for a QB to have and you better believe he will bring that up to management in regards to the Carson Wentz brand new deal that pays him $128-million-dollar deal with $107 guaranteed over four years. Wentz has not finished either of the last two seasons but the Eagles paid him anyway.
The number one thing going for Dak Prescott and the real reason he will feel like he’s entitled to getting a max deal is how would the Cowboys replace him? That question is extremely complicated because the most difficult thing in all of professional sports for a front office is finding a franchise QB. If Dak walks, the Cowboys could potentially be in a lot of trouble. There is no obvious replacement on the market or in the draft.
This Situation from the Cowboys’ Viewpoint
If the Cowboys thought Dak was worth a max deal, he would have one by now. It’s not as simple as them not wanting to pay him market value, it’s about the rest of the team. They still need to pay Ezekiel Elliott (who is considering holding out), Amari Cooper and next year Jaylen Smith and Byron Jones. If they pay Prescott max money, they will lose one of those guys. We haven’t even brought up the offensive line or star linebacker Leighton Vander Esch who will command big money as well. If they pay Dak and lose some of the pieces around him, will he continue to be as successful as he is? That’s the $30-million-dollar question at the moment.
This Could Turn into a “Game of Chiken”
There are so many ways that this could go wrong for the Dallas Cowboys. Pay Dak less and risk having a disgruntled QB leading your franchise. Pay him what he wants and risk losing key pieces of your team that made it possible for him to even ask for this type of contract. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
There is one thing that Prescott needs to be wary of. At the moment, he is a beloved figure among Cowboys fans. That could all change if he forces the team to give him a max deal. His play on the field will never live up to that type of money. If that’s the case and they have to start letting players walk because they paid him, he will get all of the blame if the team aren’t competing for a Super Bowl. Essentially if he signs a max deal he will be required to play like a max quarterback and up to this point in his career, there is no evidence that he is capable of getting that done.