Dak Prescott appears to be out for the remainder of the season. Now the question is, where does his relationship with the Dallas Cowboys go from here?
This question will be answered over the next couple of months with how Andy Dalton and the rest of the team plays without Dak Prescott under center.
Fortunately for Dak Prescott, his contract negotiations throughout the offseason, at least on the surface, weren’t as tumultuous as some others in recent years. This may keep him within the good graces of Jerry Jones, but the fact that a deal didn’t get done in one of the biggest offseasons in recent memory is concerning.
Furthermore, if Dalton comes in and has good performances and leads the Cowboys to the playoffs and perhaps even wins a playoff game, does that make Jones second guess Dak Prescott?
On the flip side, if the Cowboys struggle and, no matter how unlikely this is, especially in the very weak NFC East, get one of the top picks in the draft, would they use that pick on Trevor Lawrence of Justin Fields and completely move on from Dak Prescott?
This scenario is very unlikely, but if they do manage to drop to one of the top two spots in the draft the question will be raised. Would the Cowboys entertain the option of trading up in the draft to get Lawrence, perhaps even using Dak Prescott as the piece offered for the #1 overall pick? Again unlikely, but this has to be questions that the Cowboys organization and Jerry Jones are pondering now, and for Prescott that is not good if he wants to stay in Dallas.
Two things that are good for Dak Prescott if he wants to stay in Dallas, which he has said publicly he does, is that he didn’t do anything negative while being carted off the field. An example: what Earl Thomas did in 2018 when he flipped off the Seattle Seahawks bench following a tumultuous contract negotiation which soured relations between him and the organization.
This show of restraint will hopefully garner respect from Jones and the organization.
The second is that the likelihood of either an amazing performance by Dalton or a complete collapse to the bottom of the league is very unlikely. What will probably happen: The Cowboys will finish in the lower half of the league at the end of the season, perhaps still making the playoffs due to the weak NFC East, and will then get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Assuming this happens, Dak Prescott will more than likely be brought back on the franchise tag for the final time, and then the questions will to be asked within the Cowboys front office.
While Dak Prescott, the Cowboys organization, and the fan base didn’t want to see Dak go down like this, at least this isn’t next year, when full crowds might be allowed in stadiums and teams might have more normal offseason routines. This injury shouldn’t affect Prescott’s relationship with the organization barring something crazy happening.
Dak Prescott ought to be able to focus on rehabbing his injured ankle and getting ready to play next season, which will be the one that will really matter for his NFL future — not just with the Cowboys, but for his long-term career arc.