In a recent interview, White opined that Prescott remains the future at quarterback for the Cowboys, believing the two-time Pro Bowler — who ranks fifth in franchise history with 17,634 passing yards, one spot behind White (21,959) — will return “better than ever” from his grisly October ankle injury.
“Dak checks all the boxes,” White told Zach Brook of YouTube channel Upon Further Review. “He’s got a couple of little throwing issues that are minor and can be corrected. To be honest with you, I’m not so sure that with his contract situation the injury wasn’t a blessing for Dak. He got a chance to sit back, watch things from a distance during a crazy year. I think he’s going to be better than ever when he comes back next year.”
This isn’t the first time someone used that expression (“checks all the boxes”) to describe Prescott, nor the first time it was suggested that his right ankle compound fracture and dislocation actually increased his value to the Cowboys, who finished 6-10 in his absence this season.
The latter came straight from the horse’s mouth — the biggest horse of them all.
“I don’t know how you could have any more leverage,” team owner Jerry Jones said last month on 105.3 The Fan. “… His evolving into an NFL quarterback has been nothing short of a perfect picture. He has great ability, in my mind, to win games. He’s talented. He certainly has the experiences and he has all the things, which has been substantiated by what we’ve offered Dak. You wouldn’t offer Dak what we offered in the past if you’d not thought he was very special. The issue is, how do you come together? And that’s no stranger to me. I’ve been doing it all my life, putting things together. We’ve got to get it together.”
Prescott reportedly is ahead of schedule in his post-surgical recovery period, projected to span 4-6 months. Which coincides with the 27-year-old becoming an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins March 17.
Dallas’ front office repeatedly has proclaimed its intent to lock down Prescott with a long-term contract before he so much as sniffs the open market. Should negotiations falter, however, for a second consecutive offseason, Prescott is expected to receive the exclusive franchise tag, projected to cost $37.7 million for the 2021 campaign.
Last month, sports analytics giant Pro Football Focus forecasted the Cowboys — who currently have $13.905 million of available salary-cap space — inking Prescott to a four-year, $158 million contract ($39.5 million annually) with $115 million in total guarantees.
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Emmitt Addresses Concern Regarding Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott’s worst statistical season since 2017, in which he failed to crack 1,000 ground yards and recorded a career-low yards-per-carry average, prompted an appropriate if speculative question: Is the two-time NFL rushing champ washed?
The answer varies by the source, depending on who’s asked. Emmitt Smith was queried and the Cowboys icon feels that Elliott’s best years are not yet in the rearview.
“I think with Ezekiel Elliott, many people forget that Zeke had COVID-19 before the season even got started. And no one knows what COVID-19 will do to your body until you go through it,” Smith recently said on the Great Dane Nation Podcast, via Inside The Star. “If you look at his body and play through the first five-six weeks of the season, his body structure, his weight looked a little bit different than the latter part of the season. Physically you just look at him, he looks a lot leaner in the latter part of the season than he did in the first part of the season. Now in the first part of the season, obviously he had some fumbling issues. Granted, they get paid on the other side of the ball like we do, not to make any excuses, but I do believe that Zeke will be better for what he had gone through this year. And he will be prepared and probably start to take care of himself differently for what he has gone through this year. And I think with Tony Pollard, there’s a great one-two punch.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL