As prognosticators forecast an eventual divorce, NFL insider Jay Glazer, in a recent mailbag for The Athletic, painted the franchise-tagged quarterback as “absolutely the guy” in Dallas — now and later.
Would you buy or sell Dak as the right piece for Dallas at QB moving forward? —Kyle A.
Absolutely buy, he’s the guy. I’ve said it all along, there’s so much other stuff that goes into being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. He does a lot of other things behind the scenes with the way he leads them and how he helps his teammates take care of themselves. People just don’t understand. He probably doesn’t get enough credit for that.
Glazer’s reporting directly contradicts an unnamed former coach who conveyed to in-house beat writer Bryan Broaddus that Prescott no longer wants to play for the Cowboys.
“I asked another coach, I said, ‘What about Dak? Do you think he wants to be here?’ And he said, ‘At this point, no, I don’t think so. However, he will not say it or show it. The kid is a stud and is mentally strong,’” Broaddus relayed last week on 105.3 The Fan.
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Say what you will about Prescott, but there’s no doubting his leadership qualities. Which isn’t something he could learn or buy or acquire via osmosis. You’re either born with the “it” factor or not, and Dak’s was on full display last season.
A primary example came after the club’s Thanksgiving Day defeat to the Buffalo Bills, when Prescott bemoaned how he hates losing more than he likes winning. Case in point: The Cowboys fell to 6-6 yet, despite dropping three of their last four games, maintained a slight lead in the NFC East. But …
“Times like this, it’s more to lead by example,” Prescott said, per USA Today. “Talk’s cheap. We’ve talked a lot and talked a bunch and gotten ourselves to right where we are. At a moment like this, I say [to] hell with the talking. If you need to be fired up at 6-6, this isn’t the locker room for you.”
Prescott led by example despite Dallas’ disappointing 8-8 finish, throwing for a career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns. He failed to spin the personal bests into a long-term contract, the deadline for which expired July 15. Though, even his former teammates made it known Prescott was deserving of the commitment.
In large part because of his intangibles.
“Dak a top QB in this league. Can’t teach his mentality and leadership qualities. They gone regret that,” tweeted ex-Cowboys defensive back Kavon Frazier, who defected to the Dolphins this offseason.
Bucking the Trend?
Glazer might be on Prescott’s side, but history certainly isn’t. Just three NFL QBs have ever played a regular season on the franchise tender, and both others — Drew Brees in 2005 and Kirk Cousins in 2016 and 2017 — signed deals with new teams the following year.
Prescott will collect a fully-guaranteed $31.4 million in 2020 before eyeing unrestricted free agency next March. Of course, the Cowboys simply can tag Prescott again and fork over another $37.7 million. This is the only leverage the team possesses.
If allowed to test the open market, the 27-year-old would find no shortage of suitors. According to oddsmakers, the Los Angeles Chargers (+700) are the current frontrunner to roster Prescott in 2021. Trailing the Bolts are the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, and Minnesota Vikings, each listed at +800.
The Cowboys (+900) are tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the third-best odds of retaining the two-time Pro Bowl passer.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL