No, not that. The NFL’s F-word: “Franchise.” As in, franchise quarterback.
“Definitely,” McCarthy said at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, per The Athletic. “It’s exactly where we want to be with Dak. I think what he’s done to this point speaks to itself. Dak, he’s in a business situation right now — I’ve gone through this as a head coach with a number of my players in the past — and like anything, it’s time to be patient and let the business people work out the business matter. That’s really where we are as an organization, and that’s where Dak is in his personal flight to get a contract done.”
This is the first we’ve heard from McCarthy regarding his newest pet project since Jan. 16, when he addressed the initial communication with Prescott. The men didn’t chat for long, just enough to get a feel for one another, after the two-time Pro Bowler also spoke separately with newly-promoted QB coach Doug Nussmeier and retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
“Good … he’s energetic,” McCarthy said of the brief conversation, via the team’s official website. “And we talked about his plan for the next couple of weeks and what he’s going in front of him. I know Kellen and Doug also talked to all the quarterbacks.”
McCarthy was much more forthcoming during his introductory press conference, explaining that Dallas’ offense will revolve around Dak.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Dak [Prescott]. What he’s done so far is very impressive,” he said on Jan. 8, per WFAA’s Mike Leslie. “I think like a lot of us, in the league, you watch people from afar. But when you have a chance to watch a player live, and I can recall his rookie year when we played him in Green Bay, so I’ve always been impressed with him. You’re gonna be able to run the whole offense and then some. And I think he has an incredible foundation to build off of. Our offensive system will be built around making the quarterback successful. That’s the way I’ve learned it, and that’s the way I believe you play offense. We have a great one there to work with.”
The Cowboys genuinely feel that Prescott is a franchise cornerstone — vice president Stephen Jones has, too, uttered an F-word about “our guy” — but he appears destined for the franchise tag if slow-rolling negotiations don’t reach an apex by March 10.
It remains unclear when, how, and by what means the club will get Prescott under contract.
But the who (“who’s quarterbacking the Cowboys?”) is not up for debate.
“Defense gets teams to the Super Bowl, quarterbacks win Super Bowls,” McCarthy said, adding that Prescott “can get that done,” according to The Athletic.
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
McCarthy Wants Cowboys to Keep Cooper, Cobb
No surprise here: An offensive-minded coach prefers the team retain its offensive weapons. Not just Prescott, but two of his top pass-catchers, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb — both unrestricted free agents.
“The goal is to have both those guys,” McCarthy said Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News. “I was very impressed with (Cobb’s) video.”
McCarthy and Cobb are familiar from their time in Green Bay together, and it shouldn’t take much to re-sign the latter, who caught 55 passes for 828 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. Cobb has previously expressed an interest in returning to North Texas.
Cooper is a trickier situation to navigate. Like Dak, he’s primed to reset the positional landscape and Dallas is forced to weigh their options. Multi-year contract? Franchise tag? Transition tag? They’re all in play for the team’s leading receiver.
Stephen Jones recently divulged that he shared an “upbeat” discussion with Cooper’s agent at the Super Bowl earlier this month. Jones, however, cautioned that no new pacts would be completed until the NFL and NFLPA reach an accord on a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Doing their due diligence with Cooper, Cobb and Tavon Austin heading to the open market, the Cowboys informally interviewed WRs Michael Pittman, Denzel Mims, and K.J. Hill at the Combine. They’ve also scheduled an official top-30 visit with Pittman, a projected second-round pick.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL