Dallas Cowboys: Why they shouldn’t give Dak Prescott a long-term deal

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 23: Dak Prescott (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 23: Dak Prescott (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Yet another impressive win by the Dallas Cowboys has them looking more and more like a playoff contender. But, when I watch the Cowboys, I don’t get the excitement that I normally experience when I watch great football.

No, instead I get this feeling like I am watching a wedding and the two people getting married shouldn’t be together.

Listen, we all have been in that relationship with that person who drives you crazy, but you stay. Perhaps that girl might be really cool to hang out with because she likes sports. Or maybe, her dad has season tickets to the Rams. Hell, I don’t know.

Whatever your reasons for staying, we have all been in the stage of, “I know I should end it, but I just cannot find the right time to do so.” So, you stay and then eventually the time comes when that relationship turns into the marriage you never wanted. That feeling is exactly how I feel about the Cowboys and the extension they will soon offer quarterback Dak Prescott.

Frankly, I’ll be the first to admit that this run the Cowboys are on is special. It shows you just how quickly it can all come and go in the NFL. However, ultimately this Cowboys run is going to trap them into signing Prescott long-term.

Now, it is not like we haven’t this before.

We have seen quarterbacks during a contract year catch lightening in a bottle and trap their respective franchises into giving them big contracts. We saw last year with Blake Bortles and the Jaguars.

We also saw a few years ago with Matthew Stafford and the Lions.

I would argue that the Atlanta Falcons got trapped into paying Matt Ryan at an overvalued rate as well. But why do it?

Well, in the NFL the quarterback is arguably the most the important position. In the history of the league, with great quarterback play, you have put yourself into contention to win a Super Bowl.

The key word there is ‘great’.

Dak Prescott is a not a great quarterback.

What makes a quarterback great, then?

Let’s refine what great quarterback play is and who deserves the max contract at that position.

I value the quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and company. The ones that are able to take what they are given and elevate their surroundings. They are able to succeed despite inferior talent and are able to thrive when given talent. If you have someone like that, then by all means, give them the money they are asking for.

Simple enough, right?

With that in mind, I would argue that there are around 7-9 quarterbacks (maximum) that fit the mold in which we have just described.

If you don’t fit the model of great quarterback play, does it really make sense to tie up a large percentage of the cap?

The NFL overpays for good quarterback play

Is good enough to pay that kind of cash? Sure, if you are just trying to make the playoffs or be in the hunt every year, Prescott or Stafford are fine. And if they were both on their rookie contracts, it would make sense to keep them. They are good enough to win. If they have the talent around them and are cheap, keeping them makes sense.

With that said, I would never sign them to a max contract especially with the way the league is going. Let me explain.

We are in the midst of an offensive explosion in the NFL. Offensive efficiency is at an all-time high this year and this can be explained for various reasons.

First, it has never been easier to play quarterback in the NFL. The rules benefit offensive production with the lack of contact that is allowed.  If you are not hit as much, you are often healthier and health tends to be correlated with a higher level of offensive production.

Second, since you can’t hit people the way that you used to, perimeter players have actually become valuable in the NFL. I used to be on the bandwagon that paying for players such as wide receivers were a waste of money because I viewed them as a product of how good your quarterback was. In other words, that if you had a great quarterback, going cheap on wide receivers was something that you could do.

Now, with the new rule changes, as well as spread offenses being run at an all-time high, it makes a lot of sense to invest in wide receivers that are fast and can create separation. With the quick and fast-paced offenses, it makes more sense to get the ball to someone in space and allow them to make a man miss.

On top of all of the reasons I laid out, it makes even more sense to sign veteran offensive and defensive lineman than ever before. With the current CBA, you are granted less practice time and thus, certain positions haven’t been as dominant in years past. Granted, I am no offensive line expert, but from various comments from other media members, it has been noted that this lack of practice time has hindered those positions especially.

It makes all sense in the world to me. Go cheaper if your guy isn’t great, right?

You can truly compete in the NFL now with good to average quarterback play, as long as the players around him are good. The way to fail in the NFL, is to sign an expensive average quarterback that hinders the rest your team.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Black Bortles, etc..

If you invest in someone in someone like Prescott or Ryan, you are often forfeiting your ability to sign someone who will make your team actually better.

Well, then what do you do?

Here is where my theory of the revolving door quarterback finally comes into play. See, if I were running an NFL team, first thing I would do would be to get someone like Matt Nagy or Sean McVay to run the offense. With an elite offensive mind, he would come in and have the ability to draft a quarterback or find someone at a good price to run my offense.

Next, if were in the situation that the Cowboys were in, I would just trade Prescott. Prescott’s current value is at an all-time high (or close to it). Shopping Prescott and moving forward with a different and cheaper quarterback really wouldn’t hinder the Cowboys’ performance.

With an elite offensive coach like Nagy or McVay, you would be able to take average and cheaper quarterback play and combine that with the roster that you are already have. What you have is an elite defensive front seven, a pro-bowl level running back, and wide receiver.

Next. 2019 NFL mock draft update. dark

With the money that you saved from not signing Prescott, you could go and grab another offensive lineman or perhaps another pass rusher. Hell, you never know moving on from something good can lead you to greatness.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Bill Belichick.