NFL: Predicting the week one starting quarterback for all 32 teams

NFL QB Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NFL QB Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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NFL, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
NFL QB Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott

If the value of Dak Prescott wasn’t known before this season to the Dallas Cowboys, it is now. Without Prescott in 2020, the Cowboys puttered to a 6-10 record, finishing third in the league’s worst division. The offense ranked 14th for yards and 17th for points. Then, Prescott returned and the whole story changed in Dallas.

With Prescott back in 2021, the Cowboys went 12-5 to win the division. The offense was electric, leading the NFL in yards and points. The end result isn’t what anyone in the organization wanted, but the product of the season was clearly better with Prescott.

That’s good because Dallas is certainly paying him enough moving forward for that difference in production. Prescott will enter year two of his four-year extension in 2022, making over $34 million. That number will bump up to $45 million in 2023, making this upcoming season very important for Dallas.

The cap hit that Prescott will provide will put pressure on the Cowboys to succeed in 2022 before they are strapped by the cap. This is the new world of having a solid quarterback, paying them when the time comes, but Dallas needs to win a playoff game soon and the more Prescott makes, the harder it will be to supply his supporting cast.