Though Dak Prescott failed to come terms with Jerry Jones on a contract extension, he still scored a lucrative raise courtesy of the franchise tag. Meanwhile, one of his peers, Deshaun Watson, did succeed in securing a long-term deal with his team. With the Houston Texans quarterback setting the market with his new contract, Prescott knows exactly the number to shoot for when he sits down at the negotiating table with the Dallas Cowboys owner.
And based on his sensational performance in Sunday’s epic comeback victory, Dak Prescott just enjoyed a $160 million day at the office.
Deshaun Watson just scored a $160 million contract extension
Unlike Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson entered the NFL as a first-round pick. While Prescott had to wait until the fourth round to hear his name called, the Texans traded up to take the former Clemson star with the 12th overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.
Watson wasted no time showing why he beat Nick Saban’s team for a national title. In his rookie season, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound signal-caller threw 19 touchdowns in his first seven games. However, after getting off to a scorching start, Watson suffered a torn ACL that ended his promising season.
Houston’s quarterback returned to play all 16 games in 2018. Watson earned his first of two consecutive Pro Bowl selections after throwing for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns. Last season, he followed up with another strong campaign that included 34 total touchdowns and five game-winning drives.
Just two weeks ago, and only two months after Patrick Mahomes signed his record-setting contract extension, Watson secured a lucrative deal of his own. By locking up their franchise quarterback on a four-year, $160 million extension, the Texans ensured they will remain an AFC contender for years to come.
Dak Prescott is still waiting for his big payday
Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson each scored lucrative contract extensions with their respective teams. Dak Prescott, however, failed to accomplish that financial feat. The Cowboys quarterback turned down a substantial offer prior to the 2019 season. He responded by setting career-highs with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.
This offseason, Prescott and Jerry Jones faced arguably the most important deadline in franchise history. Having already used the franchise tag to ensure Prescott would not leave in free agency, the Cowboys owner had until 4 p.m. on July 15 to sign his quarterback to an extension.
However, the deadline passed without a deal. Still, that has not quieted talks surrounding Prescott’s contract situation. The Cowboys QB will make more than $31 million this season, but the ultimate goal still remains to secure a long-term deal that pays him among the league’s elite quarterbacks.
Prescott just enjoyed a $160 million day at the office
Dak Prescott has plenty of motivation to play well this season. After all, another strong season should give him even more leverage in contract talks. The fifth-year quarterback kicked off the year with a solid performance against the LA Rams in Week 1. However, on Sunday, Prescott enjoyed a $160 million day at the office.
At halftime, the Cowboys trailed the Falcons by a score of 29-10. Fans who attended the team’s home opener witnessed Dallas commit three first-half fumbles that helped Atlanta jump out to a commanding lead.
Despite facing improbable odds, Prescott staged a furious comeback. He punched in three goal-line touchdowns and also threw a touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz. After the Cowboys stunningly recovered an onside kick, Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb for a 24-yard gain that set up Greg Zuerlein’s game-winning field goal.
For Prescott, Sunday should go down as the most impressive performance of his Cowboys career. Playing behind an injury-ravaged offensive line, he still threw for 450 yards—the third-highest mark of his career. In addition, despite attempting 47 passes, Prescott did not throw an interception.
By leading the Cowboys to an incredible victory, the two-time Pro Bowler proved why he deserves a long-term contract. While Prescott gets criticized for his lack of playoff success, Watson has the exact same postseason record (1-2) as his peer. Plus, the Texans star has already sustained a significant injury since entering the NFL. Prescott, on the other hand, has never missed a game.
Ultimately, Watson’s $160 million deal should serve as the baseline for Prescott, who has posted comparable numbers to the recently-paid Houston QB. And if Watson’s 1-2 playoff record did not stop him from receiving a massive raise, Prescott should not be penalized for that, either.
By leading his team to a dramatic comeback and proving he deserves to be paid like an elite quarterback, Dak Prescott just enjoyed a $160 million day at the office.
Let’s see if Jerry Jones agrees.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.