Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has bet on himself and is waiting to sign a contract extension. Has quarterback play this season weakened his market?
The Dallas Cowboys had several players and coaches contracts to resolve this past offseason. The team signed defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and running back Ezekiel Elliott to top three or better contracts for their position.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper was pretty quiet and ultimately decided to play out the last year of his rookie contract. Quarterback Dak Prescott was not as quiet but also chose to play the 2019 season on the last year of his rookie contract.
The Cowboys loaded up in the offseason trading for defensive end Robert Quinn, signing wide receiver Randall Cobb and supposedly adding roster depth with Super Bowl aspirations. Prescott decided to bet on himself with team success driving up his value.
Quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, the number one and two draft picks in Prescott’s draft class, signed hefty extensions this past season. Prescott will be compared to these two quarterbacks for the rest of their careers.
The NFL has long been thought of as a quarterback league. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger have built or are in the process of building Hall of Fame careers and won thirteen of the last eighteen Super Bowls.
These quarterbacks have also been near the top of the quarterback salary scale during their careers. Wilson, Roethlisberger, and Rodgers are in the top five average quarterback salary per year according to Spotrac. Goff and Wentz round out the top five.
By not signing the deal that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pronounced as imminent after Week One, Prescott is hoping to leapfrog these quarterbacks next offseason and become the highest-paid quarterback.
On the surface, Prescott’s stats would suggest that he has stepped up his performance from the first three years of his career. He started the season with a perfect quarterback rating in Week One and has averaged 314 yards passing per game through the first six games of the year – by far the highest of his career.
Prescott’s supporters have long proclaimed that he is a winner. His 32-16 won-lost record over the first three seasons would support their argument. Yet, with the best stats of his career, Prescott and the Cowboys are 3-3 after suffering their third loss in a row last week.
The 2019 season has been a strange season for quarterback play. Backup quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater for the New Orleans Saints, Kyle Allen for the Carolina Panthers, and Devlin Hodges for the Pittsburgh Steelers have a 9-0 record while the starters for their teams, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger with three Super Bowl victories, one NFL MVP award, and one Super Bowl MVP award between them, have a combined 1-5 record.
While this is a small sample size that has been cherry-picked, it does show that a high-priced quarterback is not required to win in the regular season. It does make you wonder if a team should invest 20 percent of their salary cap in one player. Particularly if that player is not able to lead the team to beat the winless New York Jets.
Dak Prescott has ten games left this season to show that he is worth the money he is seeking. A victory this week against the Philadelphia Eagles would be a good start to show that he is capable of leading the Cowboys to the playoffs.