It was the Year of Mahomes in 2018 and the Year of Jackson in 2019.
Could 2020 be the Year of Dak? Vegas seems to believe so.
Chiefs wunderkind Patrick Mahomes (+400) is favored to take home his second MVP trophy in three years, followed by Ravens dual-threat star Lamar Jackson (+600), who won the award last season.
The rest of the QB-dominated field: Seattle’s Russell Wilson (+1200), Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady (+1600), Arizona’s Kyler Murray (+1600), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (+2000), Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (+2500), and Houston’s Deshaun Watson (+2800).
Oddsmakers apparently foresee a monster season for Prescott after the two-time Pro Bowl passer finished second in the league in passing yards in 2019, coming within one yard of tying the single-season franchise record held by Tony Romo. He also set new career highs with 30 touchdown tosses, 388 completions, and an 8.2 yards-per-pass average.
The Cowboys dedicated a portion of their offseason to Prescott, replacing fledgling head coach Jason Garrett with former Packers offensive mastermind Mike McCarthy while retaining coordinator Kellen Moore to preserve all-important continuity.
On the personnel side, the team broke the bank on Dak’s favorite target, wide receiver Amari Cooper, who inked a $100 million contract extension, and lucked into CeeDee Lamb — perhaps the best WR amid a historically deep class — with the No. 17 overall pick in last month’s draft.
His coaches now upgraded and his supporting cast ridiculously stacked, Prescott is a candidate to take another huge step forward this year, regardless of whether he plays on the $31.4 million franchise tag or scores a long-discussed megadeal that could make him the sport’s richest-ever player.
If Prescott puts himself squarely in the MVP conversation this fall, it means the Cowboys are coasting to their greatest finish since 2016 and possibly their first NFC title game appearance since 1995.
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Donovan McNabb Warns of ‘Major Problem’ Involving Dak
Caving to Prescott now will be cheaper than returning to the negotiating table later, Donovan McNabb advised the Cowboys.
The former Eagles and Redskins quarterback, during a recent appearance on the Last Stand Podcast, opined that Dallas should “pay the man” rather than stick out the 2020 season on the franchise tag, which runs the risk of meeting an exploded market value.
“Pay the man because I’m going to tell you one thing — (when) you franchise him, say he has half Jameis Winston’s season and y’all make it to the NFC Championship Game or second round of the playoffs. And he passes for 5,000 yards, 35 touchdowns and maybe about 12 to 13 picks. You know how much money he’s going to ask for? You think it’s a problem now. It’s going to be a major problem if Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes sign their contracts,” McNabb told Showtime’s Brian Custer, via the Dallas Morning News.
It’s debatable whether Prescott joins the 5K Club next season, but it’s indisputable that Watson and Mahomes will eventually score mind-numbingly lucrative extensions, with the reigning Super Bowl MVP likely becoming the first $40 million-per-year player in NFL history. The current high-water mark — Seattle QB Russell Wilson’s $35 million annually — will seem like pennies on the dollar within the next calendar year.
Prescott reportedly sought $40M per season in 2019 as his camp ignited long-term talks with the Cowboys. The team was unwilling to assuage incumbent field general at that number, or anywhere close to it, leading to oft-stalled discussions that, as of this writing, remain stagnated.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL