Last summer, with the NFL season still up in the air, negotiations suddenly stalled between Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys front office general managers/owners, Stephen and Jerry Jones. In the face of increasing scrutiny as to whether Prescott was even worth a record-setting deal, Dak’s camp moved to play on a 1-year, $31.4 million franchise tag, betting on himself to prove his worth this year under a new coach and immense expectations.
Now, with Prescott’s devastating injury he suffered on Sunday, his dreams of a record-setting deal may have just dissipated.
During Sunday’s divisional game against the New York Giants, Prescott suffered a gruesome, season-ending injury in the third quarter after Giants defensive back, Logan Ryan landed on Prescott’s right leg going in for a tackle.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott getting carted off. Joneses embracing. Garrett goes over to McCarthy
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) October 11, 2020
Prescott, appearing emotional, was subsequently carted off the field with a compound fracture and a dislocated ankle.
Sunday night, it was reported that Prescott underwent a successful surgery to repair the ankle as Prescott’s brother posted a positive update on his brother’s condition.
God is good, and he’ll be back STRONGER than ever. I FUCKING guarante3 IT. Let’s go @dak continue to walk by #FAITH & I’ll make sure you continue to #FIGHT pic.twitter.com/0SWqGJ937h
— Tad Prescott (@86Prescott) October 11, 2020
Following the surgery, NFL’s Jane Slater reported that Prescott will likely be out between 4 and 6 months, effectively ending his season.
Throughout the league, there was an outpouring of support for Prescott, who also spent the offseason mourning the loss of his brother to suicide.
For Dak, however, this offseason will be wrought with uncertainty as he and his team will be forced to the negotiating table with significantly less leverage.
As the news of Dak’s injuries made the sports news cycle, sports commentators and fellow athletes were also quick to rebuke the Jones family for not securing Prescott to a long-term deal.
Following the Giants’ loss, even Ryan took to the podium to implore that the Cowboys do right by their quarterback.
This past Summer, Prescott and his camp were looking to acquire a new market-setting deal which could have paid the 5th year quarterback north of $45 million/year, while the Jones’ were reportedly offering a 5-year, $175 million deal ($35 million/year).
Now, nothing is guaranteed.
To their credit, Stephen Jones went on the record to say that Dak was “(their) future” however, with the signing of former Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton, as a negotiating tactic and an upgraded insurance package, I’d put little-to-no stock in their word.
At this point, there are just too many variables to know just how Dak’s summer will turn out. For all we know, Dalton could master Kellen Moore’s offense and ride them deep into the post-season -OR- Dalton could just manage a mediocre team to a 5-11 season, which is actually more likely given Mike Nolan’s all-time worst defense.
Let’s be honest: Dak will definitely be in a Cowboys uniform next year and deservedly so. Prescott, through the intense scrutiny that comes with being the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys has proven that he should be the franchise quarterback for this team.
Honestly, there are two realistic scenarios for Dak. Either he signs a lesser-valued, long-term contract to secure his future, or, he gambles on himself one more time and takes the franchise tag and proves, again, that he’s “the guy.”
The Cowboys, 2-3, host the Arizona Cardinals next Monday.