Suddenly, the Dallas Cowboys may have just entered the end of the Dak Prescott era.
Prescott, the Cowboys’ franchise quarterback, left Week 5 with a serious ankle injury. Dallas (2-3) will be without Prescott for the rest of the 2020 season.
Prescott has a long road ahead in his recovery. If he can’t go in 2021, the Dallas Cowboys need to consider adding one of these quarterbacks.
Dak Prescott will miss the rest of the 2020 season
If the Dak Prescott era is over in Dallas, it came to a sudden and unexpected end.
Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in a Week 5 victory over the rival New York Giants. The Cowboys’ star quarterback suffered the injury in the third quarter.
Prescott raised his first as he left the game on a cart.
Prescott completed 68% of his passes for 1,856 yards, nine touchdowns, and four interceptions in five games. He also totaled 93 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry.
Prescott, 27, is a free agent after the season. He played the 2020 season on the franchise tag.
Dallas loves Dak Prescott, and despite any contract-related animosity, the feeling is clearly mutual. But the Cowboys need to prepare for the idea that Prescott may have played his final snap in Dallas.
Andy Dalton is Dak Prescott’s temporary replacement
RELATED: What Is Andy Dalton’s Net Worth?
Welcome to the Andy Dalton show in Dallas.
A two-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Cincinnati, Dalton signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys last offseason. Dalton completed nine of his 11 passes in Week 5 for 111 yards.
Most of that damage came on Dalton’s 38-yard hookup to Michael Gallup with 31 seconds left. The connection placed Dallas at the Giants’ 16-yard line and set up Greg Zuerlein’s game-winning 34-yard field goal.
For his career, Dalton has completed 62% of his passes for 31,705 yards, 204 touchdowns, and 118 interceptions.
Although he led the Bengals to five total playoff berths, Dalton lost his four starts; Dalton missed the AFC wild-card round in January 2016 because of an injury.
What quarterbacks could the Cowboys add in 2021?
If Dallas opts to add another veteran quarterback next spring, they’re not walking into the luxury lounge.
Dak Prescott would have been, far and away, the top quarterback on the market. Some may argue Prescott, even with the injury, still is the best free-agent option.
Colts backup Jacoby Brissett is also a contender to lead the pack. Brissett impressed when he started in 2017 and 2019, but is currently sitting behind Philip Rivers.
Rivers, 39 in December, is also a free agent. The same goes for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but one or both could opt for retirement.
Cam Newton would immediately bring excitement to the Cowboys. But, Newton played so well to start his Patriots career that he may remain there indefinitely.
Chicago benched Mitchell Trubisky and he’ll likely have to settle for a prove-it deal. It is too early to know if the Saints will bring back Jameis Winston.
Dallas could also look to the trade market. Could Sam Darnold go from the Jets’ supposed savior to having the same goal in Dallas?
Could Dallas draft Prescott’s successor?
Even if Dallas believes Dak Prescott is still the long-term answer, the Cowboys shouldn’t shy away from drafting a quarterback.
Prescott will be 28 next season and coming off a horrific injury. Andy Dalton turns 33 on October 29, and he won’t be around forever.
Who the Cowboys want to draft, if they do add a quarterback, won’t just come down to their draft spot.
Where Prescott stands in his recovery come January and March could be critical in the Cowboys, theoretically, placing Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence above Prescott on their potential 2021 depth chart.
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask entered the year as a projected Day 2 pick. Trask is playing himself up draft boards, however, and could appeal to the Cowboys.
Alabama won its first three games in large part because of Mac Jones. It is unknown if Jones, a redshirt junior, would leave school after the season.