Cowboys Could ‘Start Over’ at QB Amid $59 Million Decision, Says Insider

Dak Prescott

Getty The pressure is on Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott.

The Dallas Cowboys face a decision on the long-term future of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott despite the star having two years remaining on his current $160 million contract. The challenge is the team appears to be heading for a collision course where Prescott is slated to have a $59.4 million cap hit in 2024.

This has Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wondering if the Cowboys will consider starting over at the position in the coming years. Florio noted that Prescott “is not one of the short-list franchise quarterbacks” while adding that this could be a reason to sign the quarterback to an extension to potentially save money.

“For the Cowboys, the question becomes whether, at some point, they should just start over,” Florio wrote on May 19, 2023. “Draft a new quarterback. Find a veteran starter. Do whatever they have to do to stop the funhouse ride that has become zero fun, sir for the team.

“Dak is currently not one of the short-list franchise quarterbacks. He’s just not. He’s never led his team to an NFC Championship. He seems to have slipped a bit in 2022. That makes now a great time to extend the deal. Prescott might not expect to become the highest-paid player in football. If he re-establishes himself as a top-five guy in 2023, he will.”

Dak Prescott on Cowboys: ‘I Don’t Expect to Play for Any Other Team’

Prescott is slated to have a $1.7 million base salary in 2023 that comes with a $26.8 million cap hit, per Spotrac. These numbers drastically increase in 2024 with a $29 million salary and $59.4 million cap hit. The Cowboys could ease this burden by signing Prescott to an extension this offseason, something the quarterback has openly discussed as a desire.

“100% I’m excited, yeah, to be a Dallas Cowboy, as I said. Always dreamed of [being] here, now that I’m here I don’t expect to play for any other team and now it’s just about winning,” Prescott told Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins during a March 7 interview. “So, just trying to get that done and just to hear, obviously as you say, the front office [talk about an extension].

“Looking forward to an extension, so when that time comes it will happen. I’m with Stephen [Jones] on it may just happen over night. But when it happens, it happens. It will be great.”

Cowboys Rumors: Dak Prescott Projected to Land 5-Year, $255 Million Contract Extension

Dallas could opt to let Prescott’s deal play out leaving the door open to move on from the quarterback when his deal is done following the 2024 season. Yet, if the Cowboys keep Prescott at his current 2024 cap number it would make it extremely challenging for the front office to build a contending roster around a quarterback taking up nearly $60 million of space. Dallas has repeatedly emphasized their belief that Prescott is the team’s long-term solution at quarterback.

The financial picture may not get that much better for the Cowboys given the rising cost of starting quarterbacks around the league. USA Today’s K.D. Drummond projects Prescott will command a five-year, $255 million contract extension from Dallas.

“Right now, Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback over the $50 million annual threshold,” Drummond detailed on March 24. “Denver’s Russell Wilson is right under that at $49 million per season. At the end of next season, the following star quarterbacks are going to be out of contract: Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts.

“At least one, if not all of these quarterbacks are going to break the $50 million plateau. Prescott will make at least $50 million because the market dictates that any QB in the top 12 of the league will land at or near the top of the totem.”

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