Would the Dallas Cowboys be willing send quarterback Dak Prescott to the Chicago Bears straight up for All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack? Credit NBC Sports’ Adam Hoge with the most fascinating trade proposal for 2021 yet, a ‘Dak-for-Mack’ scenario that would give the Bears their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future while giving the Cowboys a marquee pass rusher in his prime.
In his recent column for NBC Sports, Hoge proposed a blockbuster trade that would involve the Cowboys putting the franchise tag on Prescott before sending him to Chicago in return for Mack, who turns 30 in February. Noting Chicago’s limited cap space in 2021 (they have just under $7 million to work with, per Over the Cap), Hoge correctly surmised trading Mack may be the only way the Bears could afford the services of Prescott.
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Having Prescott Solves One of Chicago’s Biggest Problems
It’s no secret the Bears have been in quarterback purgatory since before the Super Bowl era began, and landing the services of Prescott would give them the best quarterback they’ve had in recent memory. Prescott threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season, and he was well on his way to eclipsing those numbers this year prior to his season-ending ankle injury. The Bears have never had a 4,000 yard passer in franchise history.
Chicago’s other primary issue, a porous offensive line, also must be addressed this offseason. One thing to keep in mind here: The Bears have first and second-round picks next spring that keep getting higher by the week, and they could easily use them on a stout o-lineman or two.
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Would Jerry Jones Want Khalil Mack?
When it comes to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who really knows? Those skeptical Jones might balk at making a trade like this may want to reconsider the owner’s flair for big, dramatic moves and his affection for superstar players.
Yeah. For everyone who saw the headline and was like "nah not gonna happen" I mean…it's Jerry Jones. https://t.co/K2tab1NIG0
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) December 10, 2020
Hoge also makes a great argument for why acquiring Mack may be something Dallas would consider:
“Does a Mack-for-Prescott swap make sense for the Cowboys? Along with DeMarcus Lawrence, that would give the Cowboys two pass rushers of at least 29-years-old carrying large cap hits, but Mack would be much cheaper than Prescott after the signing bonuses are absorbed by the Bears in the trade. And while both Mack and Lawrence have questions about their productivity in 2020, their tape suggests they could be a deadly duo together. On the other hand, Jerry Jones loves superstars, and the excitement of adding Khalil Mack and a highly drafted rookie quarterback would be good for business. Plus, both Lawrence’s and Mack’s contracts start to have team-friendly outs in 2022.”
Mack’s production, as Hoge noted, has been down a bit this year, as well as last. He has 6.5 sacks on the season, and while his PFF grades are regularly stellar, a player of his ilk should be leading the league in sacks, or close to it.
It’s far too early to speculate about Prescott’s status with Dallas next year, or about his recovery from the brutal ankle injury that cost him his season. But it’s no secret Chicago will be looking for a quarterback, and he’ll be the best available. Parting ways with a player like Mack might be the only way the Bears could land him.