For the first time in Dak Prescott’s NFL career, he will have a head coach other than Jason Garrett when the Cowboys begin offseason activities — assuming the free-agent quarterback re-signs with them or gets franchise-tagged by Dallas. After not renewing Garrett, the Cowboys hired Mike McCarthy to be their new coach.
McCarthy sat out last season after ending a 13-year coaching career with the Packers. McCarthy carries some baggage with him to the Cowboys thanks to a fractured relationship with Aaron Rodgers, but Prescott isn’t getting involved in that situation from McCarthy’s time in Green Bay.
Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers
After the Packers let McCarthy go after the 2018 season, reports started to surface that he had a drama-filled, “toxic” relationship with Rodgers — which went back to before the Packers even hired McCarthy. McCarthy was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers during the 2005 draft, when the team chose Alex Smith over Rodgers with the No. 1 overall pick.
According to Rodgers’ former teammate Ryan Grant, the quarterback never forgave McCarthy for passing over him in the draft. That got the player-coach relationship off to a rocky start when McCarthy went to Green Bay in 2006.
The relationship reportedly continued to go downhill once Rodgers became the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008, and it was bad until McCarthy’s final season with the team in 2018.
Dak Prescott is not getting involved
When a player gets a new head coach, he often calls players from the coach’s previous team to ask questions and find out what it’s like to play for him. Prescott doesn’t plan on calling Rodgers to inquire about McCarthy, though.
When asked about that in an interview with Chris Simms, Prescott he wants a fresh relationship with his new coach and not have any preconceived notions going in. He told Simms he doesn’t want “to get a feel from somebody else off of their judgment or their relationship.”
Prescott continued, saying he knows “relationships are completely individual” and that he doesn’t “want to warp [his] mind off of what somebody else thinks.” Prescott has spoken with McCarthy briefly, and he is excited to play for the Super Bowl-winning coach.
Prescott says McCarthy has “the formula … the way to do it,” which is good enough for him. It would seem that Prescott isn’t asking Rodgers about McCarthy because he knows about the bad blood between them and knows that Rodgers may not give him an unbiased evaluation of the coach. The Cowboys expect their quarterback to get along fine with McCarthy because he is a team player.
Dak Prescott’s status with the team
Prescott is a free agent this offseason, and he wants to get a long-term deal with the Cowboys. The team, however, does have the option to put the franchise tag on him, which would pay him approximately $32.5 million for the 2020 season, but it wouldn’t give him the long-term stability that he is seeking in his first turn as a free agent.
The quarterback, who will turn 27 before the regular season starts, has leverage going into negotiations with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as he is coming off a career year. He threw for 4,902 yards in 2019 — more than 1,000 more yards than any of his first three seasons — and 30 touchdowns, both career highs, with 11 interceptions.
He wasn’t as successful rushing, running for three touchdowns on the ground, the first season he didn’t have six rushing touchdowns. Spotrac estimates that Prescott’s market value is more than $33 million per season over the course of a five-year contract — a huge increase over the $2 million he made last season under his rookie deal.