KT: Should The Dallas Cowboys Extend Dak This Offseason?

Kevin 'KT' Turner
November 27, 2018 - 7:23 am
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It's always hard to gauge how an entire fan base as large as the Dallas Cowboys feels. I try hard on the air to not generalize, because after all, I don't like when I am generalized. 

I say this as a disclaimer, because quite frankly I''m about to generalize based on no scientific data, which is something I'm firmly against, but it's also something I'm about to do...

Despite this 3 game winning streak, it sure feels like most of the fan base is against the Cowboys giving Dak a long-term contract.

I would contend that the ratio of fans who are pro-Dak vs. anti-Dak would lend a victory to the "Dak haters".  Maybe that's our problem to begin with.  Why do we have to choose sides? It's okay to want what's best for the organization, and if you don't feel Dak is that guy, then you have the right to your opinion that the Cowboys should not make him the franchise quarterback moving forward.  You can feel that way without being a "Dak Hater", but in this divisive world it all feels easier to discuss these types of things without nuance rather than saying "he sucks!" or "he's great!".  

I'm not here to defend Dak, but I am here to offer a rational perspective on why i'm pulling for the Cowboys to pay the man, and it actually has very little to do with Dak or his mechanics, intangibles, inaccuracies, leadership, etc. 

Whatever you think about Dak, this is what we know...this team has not made selecting quarterbacks looks easy.  Dak is the 3rd best quarterback in this organization, dating back to 1988.  That's 30 years of QB play, and you've basically had Troy, Tony, and Dak.  

Do you really want the Cowboys to be in a position, or put themselves in a position, where they have to go shopping for another QB???

If you say yes, then i'm going to assume you had too many glasses of (insert liquor sponsor here).

Whatever you want to say about Dak, the Jones' ability to find a QB has been objectively worse. It's not shots fired at the organization as much as it is looking at some of the problems while celebrating the jackpots they've hit.  As Jerry famously once said on a questionable recording, "ROMO WAS A MIRACLE!".  Well guess what yall, so was Dak! 

Just because a guy is a miracle doesn't mean you have to keep him around, but making a decision to not pay Dak would mean that you are trusting the guys who wanted Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook in that very draft.

Guys, we're gonna do this exercise here and it's not going to be pretty.  In fact, to get motivated for this exercise I pulled up "A Perfect Day" by Lou Reed to help me get through it without spiraling into a deep depression.

Since the year 2000, here are the Cowboys starting quarterbacks...

2000: Troy Aikman/Randall Cunningham/Anthony Wright

2001: Qunicy Carter/Anthony Wright/Ryan Leaf/Clint Stoerner

2002: Chad Hutchinson/Quincy Carter

2003: Quincy Carter

2004: Vinny Testaverde/Drew Henson

2005: Drew Bledsoe

2006: Drew Bledsoe/Tony Romo

2007: Tony Romo

2008: Tony Romo/Brad Johnson

2009: Tony Romo

2010: Tony Romo/Jon Kitna/Stephen McGee

2011: Tony Romo

2012: Tony Romo

2013: Tony Romo/Kyle Orton

2014: Tony Romo/Brandon Weeden

2015: Tony Romo/Brandon Weeden/Matt Cassel/Kellen Moore

2016: Dak Prescott

2017: Dak Prescott

2018: Dak Prescott

Romo was undrafted and an admitted miracle by the owner.  Dak was not the guy they fully targeted in the 2016 draft. They should get credit for rostering these guys, i'll give them that, but the run before Tony along with their near trade up for Paxton Lynch and their near pick of Johnny Manziel, should be enough to have you shaking in your boots.  I know i'm not confident in them quickly finding a solution, should Dak falter.

Look, i'm not asking the Cowboys to give Dak the Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers contracts, but I do think if they are dead set on doing the deal this offseason, then Dak is worthy of the 20 million average annual value contract. You could even guarantee him a larger percentage of the contract, to keep the annual hit down.  I wouldn't break the bank for Dak, but giving Dak a Top 10-15 QB contract should be comforting, not scary.  Scary is the unknown. We have a pretty good idea what Dak is.

The truth is that if you can wipe out the last 8 games of the 2017 season, which started with Dak getting broken in Atlanta and continued on without Tyron and Zeke, then you have a good quarterback on your hands.  

In 2017 before Tyron and Zeke disappeared, the team put up 28 points per game.

In 2017 after Tyron and Zeke were gone, in the final 8 games, just 16ppg.

2017 1st 8 Games:  16 TD/4 INT

2017 2nd 8 Games: 6 TD/9 INT

His QB rating also much higher in the first half of course, but I personally think QB rating is a dumb stat! 

In 2018, more of the same, not a great start to the year without a true #1 WR on the roster.  The team averaged just over 20 points a game, and Dak threw for only 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions before the Cooper trade.  Since then, in a very small sample size, the team is up 3 points per game, and Dak has thrown 12 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.

Also, another thing I often get in my mentions on the twitter tweets (@ktfuntweets) is that Dak never has amazing stat lines.  I've chosen not to copy and paste the hateful tweets, as not to embarrass anybody, but it's not uncommon on any given Sunday for me to receive a ton of mentions throwing out the idea that Dak isn't good because he rarely throws for 250 yards. Well, my children, Tony Romo averaged 255 yards per game in his career, and nobody was griping about that were they?  

All of this above, just to ask this question. Could it be that Dak has been not just good, but really good in his career if you wipe out the 8 games without your stud RB and all-pro left tackle, and the beginning of this season without an attention-grabbing No. 1 WR?  

Yes, it's true.

I'm not saying Dak is a Goff/Mahomes/Wentz/etc...but I am saying he's good enough. 

In this league where the QB is more important than anything else, and the margin of error for finding a decent one is terribly slim, I'm not sure that it's a great idea to get greedy with what you have and take the chance of QB hell once again.  We know what QB hell is, and this is not it. 

I'll end it with a suggested contract for Dak.  One that hopefully will make the player, team, and fans all happy.  The rare WIN/WIN/WIN situation.

Let's assume they try to get a deal done this offseason, (first franchise tag after 2019 season would likely be somewhere around 25 million), with Dak set to make minimum wage in 2019, you could offer him a 5-year extension at 100 million dollars, with 60% of the contract guaranteed. 

The guaranteed percentage is something guys like Rodgers/Brady/Ryan get, while the 20 million dollars annual value keeps you in the company of guys like Cam Newton/Phillip Rivers, but just more than Case Keenum/Ryan Tannehill.

I can't stress this enough, I would personally wait and see how Dak performs in 2019, but if we are to believe the report from over the weekend that the Cowboys want to extend Dak this offseason, then I believe that's a fair offer and one that should make Dak, the front office, and the fan base happy.  Wait, who am I kidding? This fan base won't be happy until this team goes on another long playoff run, which has been few and far between since those three super bowls. 

I'll leave you with this....what do you have more confidence in moving forward? Dak's play on the field, or the organization's ability to find a better option. For me, I'll put my money on Dak, and I think you should too.