Dak Prescott and Jerry Jones

USA Today

Cowboys Contract Watch

Pay Dak.

August 13, 2019 - 12:45 pm

If we weren’t talking about Antonio Brown’s feet, it would be non-stop, round the clock Cowboys Contract Watch. And I’ve always said, there is nothing more exciting than discussing contracts, holdouts, and guaranteed money. It’s fantastic.

And speaking of fantastic, in the last few days, there have been multiple reports about the amount of money that Dak Prescott has turned down. There was a suggestion earlier a few days back that he turned down something in the neighborhood of 30 mill per year.

And a good chunk of people lost their ish, about him turning down 30 mill per year. Like who the hell does he think he is? He’s not that good. Tom Brady doesn’t make that kind of money.  Is Dak the dumbest guy ever? The luckiest guy ever. Both? How the hell isn’t he immediately reached for the pen to sign the line that is dotted?

So you can imagine how that same crowd reacted to the report yesterday that the reason he turned down 30 mill a year, is because he’s asking for FORTY MILL A YEAR?!  Those same people really lost their damn minds when they saw that.

Now…. here’s the report from me: none of that matters.

None of it. I’m not going to question the validity of those reports, but throwing around numbers like that without having any idea of contract length and or guaranteed money is pointless. Let’s start with the basics: 30 million per year that’s fully guaranteed is a lot less than 40 mill that isn’t guaranteed.

And then we come to the real meaty part of the conversation, the part where people start saying that Dak isn’t worth 30 mill or 40 mill. Or that if they pay Dak that much they won’t have enough to pay Ezekiel Elliott or Amari Cooper.

Let me touch on the last part of that first – the salary cap is a joke. Jerry Jones has more than enough money to pay Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper whatever he wants to pay them. The salary cap is an artificial ceiling that the owners put in place so that they can claim that their hands are tied and they can’t pay guys what they actually deserve.

But lets’ leave that for now and get back to what you think Dak does or does not deserve. And let’s get to the truth about quarterback contracts: what a quarterback gets paid has less to do with what they’ve done and more to do with WHEN they’re getting paid.

In other words, it’s LESS about greatness, and MORE about timing.

Is Carson Wentz a more accomplished quarterback than Matt Ryan?

Is Russell Wilson better than Aaron Rodgers?

Is Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo better than Drew Brees?

Are any of them better than Tom Brady?

As a quarterback, being paid is about where the market is when it’s time for a new deal. Which brings us to Dak Prescott. And I can already hear a bunch of you saying that Dak Prescott isn’t a franchise quarterback.

Fair enough. Is Kirk Cousins? Is Jimmy Garoppolo?

In three seasons, Dak Prescott has an offensive rookie of the year award, 2 NFC East titles, two Pro Bowl appearances, and a playoff win.

When you draft a quarterback, you can’t hope for much more than three seasons that include a rookie of the year, a pair of division titles and two Pro Bowl appearances.

And I know one playoff win doesn’t sound like a lot, until you consider the Cowboys have won a total of three playoff games since 1996. 

He’s not Brees or Patrick Mahomes. And maybe he hasn’t taken the big step that everyone thought he might take after his rookie season, but let’s not let great be the enemy of damn good. Let’s not lose sight of what he has done.

Dak isn’t going to blow you away with numbers. But try these numbers: earlier this summer, Carson Wentz signed a deal worth a reported 32 mill per year.

And Dak Prescott has put up better numbers than Wentz since they both entered the league. More wins, more passing yards, more game-winning drives, better completion percentage, the list goes on. 

And I know what you’re thinking – Dak has more talent around him.

Fine. Let’s work that out. And this is not about bashing Carson Wentz. He is legit.

But Wentz was en route to an MVP caliber season in 2017, but then he tore his ACL, Nick Foles took over and won a Super Bowl.

Wentz came back last year, went 5-6 as a starter, and then missed the rest of the season with a back injury and Foles led the team to the playoffs.

So if Carson Wentz set the market at 32 million, and Dak Prescott is sitting there with better numbers, better results, and has played every game, why would he take less than Carson Wentz?

And that’s before we get into the value of having stability at the quarterback position. Are there better quarterbacks than Dak Prescott? Sure. And he’d probably say the same.

But where are you going to find that quarterback? Because the Cowboys record in the last 30 years when it comes to quarterbacks has been Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Dak Prescott and a whole bunch of mistakes.

Do you really want to bail on Dak Prescott and run the risk of a return to the Chad Hutchinson Era?

And if you do find that person, is it a guarantee that he’ll be better than Dak, and able to stand up to the scrutiny of being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, and do it for less money?

Here’s the other question for all of you getting all worked up about Dak and his contract – why are you getting so worked up? It’s not your money. It’s not like the choice is between paying Dak and paying you. Dak isn’t coming to take food off your plate. I guarantee he’s not taking it nearly as personal as a lot of you are, and it’s got nothing to do with you. And if you spent as much time sweating your own paycheck as you did his, your life would be a helluva better. Believe that. Me. I’m going to reserve further judgment until I know exactly what’s been offered, because right now, I don’t.