Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott was not good enough for the team to advance to the NFC Championship. It is not just Prescott’s two interceptions that were concerning, but the signal-caller nearly threw a pick-six as the Cowboys attempted to mount a late comeback against the 49ers with minutes remaining in the contest. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd believes the Cowboys would be wise to target a quarterback in the mid-rounds of the upcoming NFL draft.
“I do think you get to a point now where Dallas with those third, fourth, fifth-round picks, you may want draft a quarterback,” Cowherd noted during a January 22, 2023 postgame reaction show on The Volume. “[With] Tom Brady, every other year Belichick drafted a quarterback. If I was Minnesota [with] Kirk Cousins, if I was Dallas with Dak. You get to about the third, fourth round, I’d roll the dice on quarterbacks. If for no other reason you’d have a young, cheap, very capable backup.
“But I think Dallas is eventually what we thought they are. They’re a good football team, not good enough to go on the road and beat Brock Purdy, who just doesn’t make mistakes.”
Dak Has 2 Seasons Remaining on a 4-Year, $160 Million Contract
Prescott earned a 72 grade from Pro Football Focus for his play this season, which puts the star in the mid-tier quarterback range. It would be one thing if Prescott’s turnovers were just untimely, a rare hiccup in the Divisional Round. Prescott tied Josh Allen for the most interceptions thrown this season at 17, 15 of which happened during the regular season.
Prescott would benefit from more talented playmakers around him with an aging Ezekiel Elliott and a wide receiver group that largely underwhelmed this season outside of CeeDee Lamb. Yet, it was not the receivers who were the issue for Prescott’s interception streak in San Francisco. Prescott has two seasons remaining on his four-year, $160 million contract and is slated to have a $31 million salary for 2023.
Who Could the Cowboy Target at QB in the 2023 NFL Draft?
The Cowboys would be wise to take a page out of the Niners’ playbook when addressing the most important position in sports. Sure, San Francisco would likely take a do-over on the Trey Lance trade. Yet, it is hard to argue with the 49ers commitment to taking multiple swings at quarterback by not only trading for Lance, but retaining veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco’s most prudent move proved to be taking a chance on Brock Purdy with the final pick in the 2022 draft, a Mr. Irrelevant selection mostly viewed as a throw away.
By comparison, the Cowboys initially released Cooper Rush and Will Grier after the preseason briefly leaving Prescott as the only quarterback on the roster. Dallas was able to re-sign both players but lucked out with the play of Rush this season. It was Rush who kept the Cowboys’ season alive during the five games Prescott was sidelined with a hand injury. Rush may land himself a more lucrative deal than the Cowboys are willing to spend when free agency kicks off in March.
Even if Prescott had a splendid end to the postseason, the Cowboys would still be wise to address the position in the draft given the quarterback’s injury history. The Cowboys will not be in the market for top quarterbacks like C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson.
Who could the Cowboys target with a day-two or day-three pick? Some potential options include Stanford’s Tanner McKee, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Oregon’s Bo Nix and Fresno State’s Jake Haener. Dallas will be tasked with improving the roster around Prescott this offseason, but adding a young prospect to the quarterback room should also be a priority.