Troy Aikman might know a few things about being a Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Aikman also knows a few things about Dak Prescott. The Hall-of-Fame quarterback, who now calls NFL games for a living, gave his advice on how things will play out after Prescott and the Cowboys failed to come to a long-term contract agreement in the offseason.
Troy Aikman’s NFL career
Troy Aikman played his college football at UCLA and was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the top pick in the 1989 NFL draft. The 1989 draft was top-heavy with stars, including Barry Sanders (No. 3), Derrick Thomas (No. 4), and Deion Sanders (No. 5). Aikman was thought highly enough by the Cowboys to be selected first.
Aikman was thrown into the fire and struggled mightily in his rookie season. He started 11 games in his first season and went 0-11. He threw nine touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. The following season, the Cowboys went 7-8 in his 15 games as a starter. He continued to rack up interceptions (18), while throwing 11 touchdown passes.
Aikman then put things together with running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin and went on a run. He made the Pro Bowl in 1991 to begin a string of six straight Pro Bowl appearances. In 1993, Aikman led the NFL in completion percentage (69.1). Despite only throwing for 20-plus touchdown passes one time in his career and never throwing for more than 3,500 yards in a season, Aikman guided the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Dak Prescott’s NFL career
When Dak Prescott came into the league, there weren’t many lofty expectations like there were for Troy Aikman. Prescott, who played his college football at Mississippi State, wasn’t the top pick in the draft. He wasn’t even a first-rounder. Prescott was selected in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 NFL draft.
Despite being the 135th player taken in the draft, Prescott was named the starting quarterback for the Cowboys in his rookie season. When starting quarterback Tony Romo and backup Kellen Moore both went down with injuries before the start of the 2016 season, Prescott took over. Prescott looked nothing like a rookie, guiding the Cowboys to a 13-3 record after completing 67.8% of his passes and throwing for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdown passes.
Prescott made the Pro Bowl his rookie year and made a return trip in 2018 when he led Dallas to a 10-6 record. Last season, Prescott had his best season statistically, but the Cowboys finished with an 8-8 record. Prescott threw for a career-high 4,902 yards and a career-high 30 touchdown passes.
Aikman predicts Prescott will be unfazed by his contract status
While Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson cashed in big time with lucrative deals this offseason, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t reach an agreement on a long-term deal. Many have wondered how Prescott will handle the situation and what the future holds for him in Dallas. Troy Aikman believes the whole situation will be a positive for the Cowboys in 2020.
“I think it impacts him positively because he’s betting on himself and he know that the price tag has already gone up since he turned (the Cowboys’ offer) down and signed the franchise tag with the contract that Deshaun Watson just signed,” Aikman said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “It’s only going to get more expensive from here. That’s what happened when they were starting negotiations a year ago before the start of the season. It’s more expensive at the end of the season than it was at the start of the season.
“I don’t think the contract itself affects him at all,” Aikman said. “I think he believes he’s going to have a great year, and I think deep down he probably believes that in the long run it’ll be a great thing because he’ll end up signing for a lot more money than he might have had they reached the terms that he wanted.”