Disappointment is nothing new for the Dallas Cowboys. With high expectations coming into 2020, the team fell flat with a 6-10 record. Now they have big questions to answer in the offseason. One of them includes their quarterback Dak Prescott. Former Cowboys are always talking about the team they once played for, and Emmitt Smith is no different.
The Hall of Fame running back recently made comments about Prescott’s future. The Cowboys still need to lock him up on a long-term contract. It doesn’t look like Dallas is sold on Dak Prescott as their future, according to Smith.
It was a down year for Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott didn’t have the 2020 seasons he hoped for. Prescott had the worst season out of the two, not even playing the whole year. He suffered that horrific ankle injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants, ending his season. Before the injury, Prescott was playing some of the best football out of all quarterbacks in the NFL.
He threw for 1,698 yards, nine touchdowns, and four interceptions. Completing 68% of his passes, Prescott was tearing up opposing defenses. It was only five games in, but his name was being brought up in MVP discussions. Who knows what the Cowboys could’ve done if Prescott was running the show.
This year was an outlier for Prescott. His reliability is one of his best traits, always being available for his team. He started in all 69 of his starts before the injury and made headlines when he missed practice last year. He was playing under the franchise tag, which is the main storyline for the Dallas Cowboys offseason.
Prescott and the team are still trying to figure out a long-term contract, which is the third straight offseason they will have this over their heads. There is the possibility the Cowboys could use the franchise tag again this offseason, but that sends the wrong message. According to Emmitt Smith, Dallas being in this situation with Prescott, sends a statement itself.
Emmitt Smith isn’t certain the Dallas Cowboys aren’t sold on Dak Prescott
Cowboys legends usually have an inside track into what the team is thinking. Emmitt Smith has first-hand experience negotiating contracts with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, holding out for one before the 1990 and 1993 seasons. He knew the Cowboys wanted him then, but he isn’t sure the Cowboys want their star quarterback 100%.
“The only answer I can give is the Cowboys are uncertain whether or not he’s the future of the Cowboys. Outside of that, if he was the complete future of the Dallas Cowboys, they would make no bones about giving him a contract,” said Smith per Bleacher Report.
Smith brought a scenario that shows Dallas’ apprehension to commit to Prescott long-term. Jerry Jones and the team quickly gave former Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo a long-term deal, although he wasn’t as good as Prescott. This commitment Jerry Jones and the team showed Romo isn’t being shown to his successor.
“I mean at the end of the day, Tony Romo, they was committed to Romo right off the rip. Right off the rip. And he came in and replaced Drew Bledsoe. And I mean, he’s not the biggest guy. He’s not the most flashiest guy, and he’s not the fastest guy either. And he had his challenges. But there was a commitment to Tony Romo. There is not a commitment to Dak Prescott,” said Smith.
These comments by Smith shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Cowboys’ actions support what he is saying about the team’s lack of commitment to Prescott. Things didn’t get any better when the team forgot to include him in the 2021 hype video. Prescott’s brother, Tad, noticed the omission and made sure to call the Cowboys on it.
What is going to happen with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys?
Even though the Cowboys have many things to tackle this offseason, their ordeal with Dak Prescott is the most important. They don’t have a capable starting quarterback under contract going into next season from a logistics standpoint. Andy Dalton was brought in on a one-year deal, and Prescott played under the franchise tag. So they need a quarterback as bad as some of the other teams in the NFL.
Since he and the Cowboys didn’t agree to a long-term deal last offseason, they couldn’t talk about a new contract until the end of the regular season. What has made talks progress slower than usual is the salary cap situation. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is projected to drop the league’s salary cap to around $180-181 million, according to Adam Schefter. That could affect the offer the Cowboys had in place.
Both sides have been going at this for three years now; each party knows what the other wants. The biggest issue was the years on the contract. Last offseason, Dallas offered Prescott a five-year deal while he wanted four years. Something has to give, or Prescott could spend another year playing under the franchise tag.
The Dallas Cowboys should’ve had Dak Prescott signed to a contract long ago. Nevertheless, they are here, still trying to get their quarterback on a long-term contract. Emmitt Smith’s comments should make Cowboys fans worried about if Prescott will get signed. If he doesn’t, things could look very similar to 1993 in Dallas.