- Dak Prescott and the Cowboys continue contract negotiations on a long term deal
- Dallas signed Andy Dalton to a one-year, $3 million contract earlier this week
- Is there any reason to believe Prescott won’t be the starter in Week 1?
All signs point to Dak Prescott being the Dallas Cowboys’ starting QB in Week 1 of the 2020 season, despite Dallas’ recent signing of Andy Dalton.
Prescott and the Cowboys have been tied up in contract negotiations for months, but sportsbooks don’t believe for a minute that Dak will be usurped by the Red Riffle.
Dallas Cowboys’ Starting QB in Week 1 of 2020 Season Odds
Odds taken May 7th.
Prescott is an overwhelming favorite to take Dallas’ first snap whenever the 2020 season kicks-off, and if reports are true, a long term deal could get done very soon.
Two Sides Getting Closer
Prescott’s camp had originally been seeking a deal with an average annual value of $40 million, but the two sides are now reportedly discussing a contract in the $35 million per season range.
Interesting signing to secure a top backup. But… before anyone asks, #Cowboys source says this has nothing to do with Dak Prescott. This is just about Dalton wanting to be back in Dallas and the #Cowboys wanting a strong option in case of injury. Simple. https://t.co/WrXSLdIqZL
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 3, 2020
That salary would match Russell Wilson’s for the highest per season in the league and would exceed the amount per year handed out to Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, two quarterbacks taken ahead of Prescott in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Passes thrown (2019)
626: Jared Goff
613: Tom Brady
607: Carson Wentz
596: Dak Prescott
Passing yards (2019)
4,902: Dak Prescott
4,638: Jared Goff
4,057: Tom Brady
4,039: Carson Wentz
Passing TDs (2019)
— America’s Team ✭ (@RoadToSix) May 4, 2020
According to reports, the reason a deal has not been finalized is due to length. Dallas is seeking a five-year deal to spread out the salary cap hit, while Dak is seeking a four-year contract allowing him to cash in again sooner.
Dallas Has a History of Slow Negotiations
As for Cowboys fans panicking about Dak remaining unsigned, to quote Aaron Rodgers “R-E-L-A-X”. Dallas is notoriously slow at handing out long term contracts, something we’ve seen numerous times recently.
The Cowboys waited until the last possible moment to sign DeMarcus Lawrence last year, so that he could have surgery to be ready for Week 1, and allowed Zeke Elliott to holdout until five days before the 2019 season started.
The Cowboys could be an offensive JUGGERNAUT:
CeeDee Lamb pic.twitter.com/ZUotVAyZJc
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 24, 2020
Just this offseason they allowed Amari Cooper to explore free agency before ultimately retaining him, and everyone in the Cowboys organization seems confident a deal with Dak will get done soon.
Let’s face it, Dallas didn’t bring in a new offensive-minded coach and draft a new explosive receiver for Andy Dalton. They did it to help Prescott make the leap from good to great.
Dalton Signing is Nothing More than Insurance
Dalton’s one-year, $3 million contract is nothing more than an insurance policy on Dak. The Cowboys have seen smart teams continue to succeed when their starter gets injured in the past and they want to try and emulate that formula if disaster strikes.
In 2017, Nick Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory when Wentz was sidelined, and just last year Teddy Bridgwater led New Orleans to five straight victories when Drew Brees went down, allowing the Saints to remain in contention for the NFC’s top seed.
Andy Dalton lives in DFW. So many speculated he would be joining the #Patriots. The QB has a one year deal with the #Cowboys and gets to work with Mike McCarthy. Good move by the #Cowboys. Dak Prescott is under the franchise tag. A 3-time Pro Bowl backup is a good thing.@NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/sZMH0JlwI8
— Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) May 3, 2020
Even if Dallas can’t lock up Prescott before the July 15th deadline, which seems unlikely, he still has the option of accepting the franchise tag. That would pay him $31.4 million for one season’s worth of work, which is quite the upgrade on his $2.02 million dollar salary from 2019.
Dak Prescott was 70.1% accurate on straight dropback passes last season, the most accurate quarterback in the NFL.
(A straight dropback pass is any pass where the quarterback didn't use play action or throw a screen.) pic.twitter.com/HRuiouEqmj
— QB Data Mine (@QBDataMine) May 1, 2020
This situation will play out one of two ways. Either Dak signs a long term deal soon, or he’ll play under the tag for a year. Either way he is going to be a very rich man soon and the Cowboys’ starter in Week 1.
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