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Dak Prescott is going to get paid. Sure, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback is making significant money this fall after being hit with the franchise tag by Jerry Jones, but he’ll make plenty more when he signs his next contract.

The funny thing is, though, that money doesn’t seem to be a driving force for a man who grew up in a family hovering near poverty even if he didn’t fully understand it at the time.

A star in the making out of a small Louisiana town

Dak Prescott’s journey from Haughton, Louisiana, to Dallas was only 200 miles on Interstate-20, but it might as well be a million-mile trip in the figurative sense. At 27 years old, Prescott has come a long way in life.

The football journey began just outside Shreveport, Louisiana, as Prescott threw for 2,860 yards and 39 touchdowns as a high school senior during a championship season. That got him to Mississippi State, where he logged limited playing time as a redshirt freshman.

Prescott’s break came the following season when he was pressed into service by injuries and responded with 10 passing touchdowns and 13 on the ground. He would come back in 2014 to throw for 27 scores for a 10-3 squad, then tacked on another 29 as a senior as Dan Mullen’s team went 9-4.

The rapid development landed him in eighth place in Heisman Trophy balloting as a junior, though he inexplicably couldn’t crack the top 10 in his final season. Nevertheless, Prescott earned the attention of NFL teams and went to the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft.

Dak Prescott’s financial picture looks brighter now

Though Dak Prescott won the job as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback straight out of rookie camp, his status as a fourth-round draft pick netted him a relatively modest $4.9 million over four seasons. Jared Goff’s signing bonus alone with the Los Angeles Rams as the No. 1 overall pick was $18.5 million.

Of course, Prescott is in pinball-machine territory now. Because Dallas applied the franchise tag for the 2020 season, Prescott will make $31.4 million. If he has any kind of a season, his next contract will be huge.

It makes for an interesting 180-degree turn in Prescott’s life. The heir to the throne of NFL stars like Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Tony Romo is doing quite a bit better than the days when sleeping in hotel rooms while growing up felt like vacations.

Prescott explained during a recent interview with Graham Bensinger:

“Sometimes my mom didn’t have the money for the electric bill, but she could get $40 or so to get a motel room. And it’s just crazy because me and my brother talk about this all the time, just the perspective of (how) most people would be upset. Most people would be mad, but we saw it as a vacation. We saw it as a time to go swimming and to get out of the house and we’ll figure it out because we have the mom that we know she will and we’re behind her, no matter what.”

Dak Prescott

How did those situations come about?

“It’s easier for her to get $40 to put us in a motel tonight than it is to pay the $170 to $200 bill because three boys were leaving all of her lights on,” the quarterback sheepishly admitted.

The experiences that helped shape Dak Prescott

The stereotype is that living in a trailer park must be a difficult experience, but Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott says that was not the case growing up outside Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother and brothers were supportive, and he met lots of good people.

“It’s the reason I do things today. It’s the reason I see the good in everybody. And it was poverty in a sense. And as I said, when you had a mom, like I did, and brothers, like I did, and being the youngest of all of them, I didn’t see it as a struggle. I just saw it as a way of life. I was proud of where I lived. I’m still proud of where I lived now, because if I didn’t live there — if I wasn’t around the people that were (there)  — I wouldn’t be the same person at all that I am today.”

Dak Prescott

Where he is now is in a good place. Prescott is 66 starts into his NFL career, respected by football fans and his teammates, and perhaps on his way to a Hall of Fame career.


Dak Prescott Expresses What It Means to Play for the Dallas Cowboys