Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is the real deal. I mean, the very first line of his bio on the Mississippi State Bulldogs' website reads, "The most decorated player in Mississippi State history." Prescott collected 38 school records in Starkville, became a fourth-round pick (135th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, and immediately won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. Despite two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons, people still aren't convinced Dak Prescott is the franchise quarterback Dallas should invest in long term.
In the midst of serious negotiations with his rookie contract set to expire after this season, Prescott isn't worried at all.
"I mean, yeah I'm involved -- it's about me," Prescott told reporters during his last interview before returning for training camp on July 27. "But they stand where they stand."
The numbers back up exactly why Prescott should be one of the highest-paid players at his position moving forward. He's one of only six NFL quarterbacks to start all 48 games over the last three years. Of quarterbacks with at least 38 starts in that span, only Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, and Tom Brady have fewer interceptions.
No starting quarterback in the NFL has more regular season, game-winning drives since 2016 than Dak Prescott (14).
He's smart, decisive, and most importantly, he's the leader of this franchise at 25 years old.
If there was any doubt at all that Prescott was fully invested in getting a deal done to stay with head coach Jason Garrett, surrounded by weapons with running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper, he put all that to bed with one simple sentence.
Wearing an all-white Stetson cowboy hat, which every Cowboy receives as a gift from their team sponsor located in Garland, Texas, Prescott joked, "I've got my cowboy hat on, so I'm a Cowboy -- we'll say that."
"I'd say this is the best I've felt. Who knows -- is it three years under my belt or just seeing defenses a whole lot more clear, being quicker and faster in everything I want to do, having great teammates around me? Who really knows the answer, but I feel great. I feel confident, and my teammates do, as well."
-- Dak Prescott
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Contract extensions take time. Especially when Dallas has a host of young players, including Pro Bowl linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, both of whom could be the best at their position for a long time, as well as a perennial All-Pro player in Ezekiel Elliott, who all need to get paid in the coming years. Dallas invested a five-year, $105 million contract in defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence back in April, making that all-important salary cap squeeze a bit tighter.
Their NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Carson Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract with $107 million guaranteed this offseason. That's the benchmark for Prescott, but if Dallas isn't quick to get a new deal signed, that number will continue to rise as the market inflates with highly-paid quarterbacks.
At least, for now, Prescott is happy being a cowboy. He's even got the handmade Stetson to prove it.
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