This week has been crazy in the NFL world, dominated by the signing of Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys believe in Dak, as the QB1 moving forward. The numbers are insane, totalling out to a 4 year deal, worth up to $160 million. And to add on, there is a no-trade clause, and no-tag provision. A crazy deal to make Dak the highest paid QB annually.
Entering the 2020 season, the Cowboys were expected to make a deep postseason run, with a record better than 7-9. Unfortunately, those goals fell well short due to the main reason of Prescott suffering the season-ending injury early on when Dallas hosted the Giants. But even before then, the Cowboys vastly disappointed. They were 1-3 heading into that game, and one mental mistake from the Falcons away from being 0-4. Prescott’s numbers were incredible during that stretch, but it was because of one thing and one thing only. The situation that his team was in. Always down by double digits, forcing them to throw deep balls, and stay away from the run game. Don’t get me wrong, his arm was looking better than ever, they just couldn’t win. The defense was atrocious, and became a headline to focus on this offseason. But, after this contract, there really isn’t a ton of talent to shoot for in free agency.
So, what should we really be expecting different from this offense? A top 3 performance. With the amount of talent they have, paying their top players the absurd amount it is, we should be expecting a near perfect offense. CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup are all great weapons that Dak should be able to work with. As we saw early on in 2020, relying on the pass game wasn’t working, and when Dallas relied on Zeke too much, that didn’t work either. So, in that case Mike McCarthy will need to formulate the perfect balance offensively to retain success. Not only that, but he needs to get his defense together. Ranking in the bottom tier last year, we should be seeing a big growth year from Trevon Diggs and Neville Gallimore. Not to mention, the fact that this squad has Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and DeMarcus Lawrence, should tell you that it’s enough to get the job done. It shows how heavily this organization needs great play calling to succeed, there is no veteran taking over play in and out. After recording 10.5 and 14.5 sacks in 2017 and 2018, Lawrence has totalled to just 11.5 sacks combined in the past two seasons. He’s still in his late 20’s, but it’s going to be key for the Cowboys to get him back on track. Without him, this defensive line serves as no threat to any offense. You can’t be relying on Dak to throw for 400 yards a game with 5 touchdowns and win 41-38. It’s just not how the NFL works, and if this team truly wanted to win, I believe they would have invested more in a defense. But, things can easily work out for the D with the right staff taking control.
Obviously, this team has the talent to make a Super Bowl appearance. It’s all about how they decide to execute. The same, underperforming Cowboys is what we got in 2019 and 2020, but after their QB1 got the money, could we see a change? A change of culture in the locker room knowing that this organization is full-on about this team, doing whatever it takes to keep its core pieces together. If this team falls short again in the playoffs, or maybe even the regular season, the offseason to come will be very, very hectic. All of the Big D are relying on Dakota Prescott to bring them a 6th ring, and not the same disappointing season they are left with every year. Can he do it now with the money?
Top Photo: For The Win- USA Today