The Dallas Cowboys, in a near parallel to the 1990s, have their triplets; a Pro-Bowl quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. But, unless they can extend all of them to lucrative deals that situation will unlikely last. One of those triplets in line to get one of those deals is quarterback Dak Prescott.
The team is prepared to pay Prescott handsomely before he enters 2020 free agency. In fact, the deal will likely result in him being their highest-paid player ever. In doing so, however, is not without its wrinkles.
Prescott is taking a civil approach to his contract negotiations. He’s in training camp and hasn’t yet made a telling peep to the public or social media about his impending deal. He appears to be in no rush to get it done; and the longer he waits, the more he gets paid — that’s how NFL quarterback contracts work.
The Cowboys and Prescott are in a moot point. The team reportedly offered a deal that would pay the quarterback $30 million per year. He declined it, a rumored counteroffer by his team consists of paying him $40 million per year. At that rate, he’d be the by far the highest-paid player in NFL history.
Considering NFL quarterback don’t get paid off their performance and more by the team that needs him, is he worth that?
No. And that’s not just taking a shot at Prescott. Few quarterbacks are worth $40 million, perhaps only Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.
Does Dak Prescott think he’s worth that?
Probably not. Raising the price point is a negotiation tactic as old as time.
Okay, so, what is he worth?
Prescott will be paid like a top-five quarterback. Jones says he has top-five offers on the table for both him, Ezekiel Elliot, and Amari Cooper.
Get to the point; is he worth that?
Prescott isn’t yet an MVP caliber quarterback. He’s a good one, who wins games. In his three seasons as a Cowboy, he’s taken the team to the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs twice. The one year in which he hasn’t, he went 9-7. His regular-season record as a starter stands at 32-16.
We know he wins, but can anybody do that behind the Cowboys offensive line? Nope. Simply ask Kellen Moore.
Factoring in the NFL’s spiked worth for a quarterback, Prescott’s age (26), winning record, the simple need to sign him, and the deals handed out to Carson Wentz ($32 million APY [average per year]) and Russell Wilson ($35 million APY), Prescott’s contract should hover around $32-$35 million per year.
Why should he bet paid similarly to Wentz and Wilson when one was a legitimate MVP candidate in 2017, and the other is bound for the Hall of Fame?
It’s simple. Prescott rejected $30 million per year and could want $40 million per year; in turn, he appears to be vying for a similar contract to Wilson and Wentz.
The obvious counter to that argument: Prescott isn’t nearly as good as Wentz or Wilson.
That’s an opinion, and a valid one, but let’s take a look at their statistics over the past three years side-by-side.
Prescott: 32-16 record, 10,876 passing yards, 67 passing touchdowns, 25 interceptions, 66.1% completion rate, 944 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns
Wentz: 23-17 record, 10,152 passing yards, 70 passing touchdowns, 28 interceptions, 63.7% completion rate, 542 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
Wilson: 29-18-1 record, 11,650 passing yards, 90 passing touchdowns, 29 interceptions, 63.7% completion rate, 1,221 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns
Statistically, Prescott compares favorably to both Wentz and Wilson. Box score statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, but they do indicate what most perceive; Prescott is a good quarterback.
Prescott should receive a deal in-between Wentz and Wilson’s, but he shouldn’t eclipse the one given to Wilson.
Wilson had a massive bargaining chip over the Seahawks; he can take them to the Super Bowl and win it. Prescott doesn’t have that. But, he’s what makes the Cowboys’ offense run, and, by all indications, is their franchise quarterback. Jones will pay him like that, precisely, $32.5 million per year, over five years ($162.5 million), in my eyes.
The Cowboys can’t afford to let Prescott walk. And they won’t let that happen. While the projected $162.5 million price point is expensive, they have been a competitive team since he’s joined. America’s Team doesn’t like being the opposite of that; if they do, they’ll lowball Prescott and franchise tag him endlessly.