Cowboys Pressed to Replace Dak Prescott with 39-TD QB

Dak Prescott

Getty The Cowboys could considering drafting Dak Prescott's eventual potential successor in Michael Penix Jr.

The Dallas Cowboys could consider replacing Dak Prescott with a surprising option.

While the Cowboys will enter the 2024 season with Dak Prescott as its starting quarterback, the future beyond that is uncertain. That is because while Dallas has publicly supported the idea of Prescott as its long-time franchise quarterback, they won’t be signing him to a contract extension at the current moment.

With the Cowboys’ future at quarterback beyond 2024 a question mark, former general manager and current ESPN NFL analyst Mike Tannenbaum suggests that Dallas select University of Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the 2024 NFL draft. Tannenbaum makes the comparison to when the Green Bay Packers selected Jordan Love when they still had Aaron Rodgers and the Baltimore Ravens selecting Lamar Jackson when they had Joe Flacco.

Tannenbaum discussed the scenario while appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Friday, March 29.

“This is about taking advantage of an opportunity,” Tannenbaum said. “Brett Favre was in the prime of his career when Aaron Rodgers fell, and they took him. Now, the difference with Jordan Love, they gave up a fourth-round pick and moved up… Joe Flacco was in the prime of his career, Baltimore moved up [and] look how that worked out with Lamar Jackson. That’s what great organizations do. They take advantage of opportunities and all I’m saying is I think that Dak Prescott’s better, but I’m hard pressed to say that any of us think that he’s $52 million per year better than Penix.”

Michael Penix Jr. Quickly Raising Draft Stock

Penix would obviously be selected with the intention of making him Prescott’s eventual successor, possibly as soon as the 2025 season.

If the Cowboys are to make a move for Penix, it would likely have to be in the first round. Dallas currently holds the 24th overall pick in the draft while Penix is quickly moving up mock draft boards. The 23-year-old quarterback had a sensational performance at the Combine and followed that up with a strong showing at his pro day, registering a surprising 4.51 40-yard dash showing. He also had a 36.5-inch vertical jump, which would have ranked first among quarterbacks who participated at the NFL Combine.

Penix — a prolific starter at Washington who finished runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting and led the Huskies to the national championship game — isn’t exactly known for his athleticism. While he combined for 39 total touchdowns during his senior season at Washington, he registered just eight rushing yards and suffered two torn ACL injuries during his collegiate career.

“I just wanted to show that I’m athletic and I can do it with my legs if I have to,” Penix said at his Pro Day.

Cowboys Lacking Proven Options Beyond Dak Prescott

It’s clear that Penix’s stock is quickly rising and he may be drafted in the early half of the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. In fact, NFL Network’s Charles Davis has Penix going with the No. 16 pick to the Seattle Seahawks. That means the Cowboys may have to trade up if they’re going to select Penix.

It remains to be seen where Penix will land in the draft, but it’s clear that Dallas has to have a contingency plan considering this could very well be Prescott’s last year in Dallas. While the Cowboys have Trey Lance on the roster, he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and is largely an unproven commodity, having started just four games in his NFL career and starting just one full season at an FCS program such as North Dakota State.

Longtime veteran Cooper Rush is also on the roster, but he projects better as a backup rather than as a starter.

Going with Penix in the latter half of the the first round could be the insurance plan that the Cowboys need at quarterback.

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