The Dallas Cowboys are having a hard time dealing with mediocrity. The team went 8-8 in 2019. It was an up and down year where, at times, they looked like a contender, and at other times they looked like a bad team. After missing the playoffs, they have a lot of questions to answer. One of those questions is what to do about their quarterback, Dak Prescott.
Prescott is approaching free agency and does not have a contract with the team. It’s now up to owner Jerry Jones to decide on whether to move forward with Prescott as the team’s long-term quarterback. Though Jones has been hesitant to make a decision, some recent comments of his indicate he may give Prescott whatever he wants.
How does Dak Prescott compare to other Cowboys’ quarterbacks?
Prescott has quarterbacked the Cowboys since 2016. He took over for an injured Tony Romo and led Dallas to a 13-3 record and an NFC East title. Since then, the team has finished 9-7, 10-6, and 8-8 with a 2018 NFC East title thrown in as well. Prescott has gotten better each year. But how does he stack up to the other famous quarterbacks in Cowboys’ franchise history?
The three best (non-Prescott) quarterbacks the team has ever had include Romo, Troy Aikman, and Roger Staubach. It’s not fair to compare their entire careers to Prescott’s since Prescott has only played four seasons. But taking a look at their first four seasons provides a telling insight into the four:
- Troy Aikman: 27-27 win-loss record, 54 touchdowns, 10,527 passing yards, 60 interceptions
- Tony Romo: 19-7 win-loss record, 55 touchdowns, 7,114 passing yards, 32 interceptions
- Roger Staubach: 13-1 win-loss record, 18 touchdowns, 2,943 passing yards, 16 interceptions.
- Dak Prescott: 40-24 win-loss record, 97 touchdowns, 15,778 passing yards, 36 interceptions
Dak Prescott compares very favorably to all of them. Keeping in mind that they played in different eras, Prescott’s passing numbers are generally higher. Romo and Staubach didn’t start right away, and Aikman even sat for some time before getting the nod. Prescott immediately took over the starting role. While that gives him an advantage when comparing the four, it also speaks to how ready he was to play. Prescott was put in a tough spot and thrived. Based on the start of his career, he may become the best Cowboys’ quarterback ever.
How much will Prescott make with his next contract?
It’s unclear how much Prescott will make on his next contract at the moment, but the short answer is a lot. Prescott is certainly the best free-agent quarterback. If Dallas allows him to hit the open market, he’d be in line for a fairly big deal from anyone who wants him.
Look at how the market for quarterbacks in the NFL has trended. Russell Wilson received a deal with an average annual value of $35 million. Kirk Cousins got a deal for $28 million a year. Aaron Rodgers makes $33.5 million.
You can debate how Prescott stacks up to any of those quarterbacks. But that’s how free agency works: the next man up usually tops the last one. Even if he doesn’t exceed those totals, expect Prescott to receive something around $30 million per year at the very least.
Jerry Jones’ comments about Dak Prescott
Jones’ actions in terms of signing Prescott may have demonstrated some uncertainty, but his words betray him. Here’s what Jones had to say about Prescott’s future as the team’s quarterback:
“We know what our future is there. We’ll keep our head down and keep working on that.”
Jones’ comments all but guarantee that Dak Prescott ends up back in Dallas next season. The question remains whether they’ll give him a long-term extension, or risk alienating him by placing the franchise tag on him for 2020. In either case, Prescott will see a hefty raise from the $2 million he made for the 2019 season.