It has been three seasons since the Dallas Cowboys found their current starting quarterback in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Now that Dak Prescott is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, conversations have begun to extend the signal caller. Prescott is in line to join only four other quarterbacks to earn $30 million annually. Although many believe the Cowboys’ quarterback is undeserving of it, his résumé says otherwise. Here are three reasons why Prescott has earned his payday.
1. No Losing Seasons
After a horrific 4-12 season in 2015, the Dallas Cowboys were struggling to keep quarterback Tony Romo healthy. Although Romo proved to be a franchise quarterback throughout the years, it is an understatement to claim he was injury prone. Romo went down with a back injury in a 2016 preseason game. Ultimately, the injury put an end to the Romo era in Dallas and handed the torch to Prescott.
In each of the three seasons Prescott has played, the Cowboys have had winning seasons. In 2016, the electrifying rookie duo of Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took the league by storm and led the Cowboys to a 13-3 season. The 2017 campaign did not live up to the hype of the previous season as the team missed the playoffs but still ended with a 9-7 record. In 2018, the Cowboys began the first eight weeks of the season with a 3-5 record. After a blockbuster trade for wide receiver Amari Cooper, the team made won seven of the last eight games, winning the NFC East with a 10-6 record.
2. Impressive Stat Sheet
Although Prescott does not put up eye-popping numbers each week, the quarterback is consistent. In each of three seasons, Prescott has thrown for over 3,300 yards and at least 22 touchdowns. The signal caller has averaged a credible completion percentage of 66.1. Furthermore, he has averaged a passer rating of 96. The Cowboy QB’s stats may not seem $30 million worthy but his impressive commodities are hidden behind the scenes.
Dak Prescott has the second most wins of any quarterback in the NFL since 2016. Over the span of three years, the 25-year-old has 32 regular season wins. In addition, Prescott has controlled his team’s division as he holds a record of 13-5 against NFC East opponents. The rising star also leads the league in game-winning drives (14) since 2016. Dak is also the only quarterback in NFL history to acquire a 100+ passer rating in 20 games through their first three seasons. To add, Prescott is the highest-rated NFL passer when the game is tied or in overtime.
Although Prescott’s stats seem just above average at first glance, the quarterback has not only proved to be capable of winning in tough situations but has given a convincing argument to why he is a franchise QB1.
3. Saved The Franchise on a Rookie Contract
Since Prescott has started under center, the Cowboys have won their division in two of the past three seasons. Before Prescott, the team won the division only three times in 15 seasons (2000-2015). America’s team was becoming the laughing stock on the NFL.
Through his first three seasons, Prescott played under an average salary of $680,848. The savings at the quarterback position has helped the Cowboys build a talented young roster. Now, the team is predicted to have the most cap space after the 2019 NFL season.
Although $30 million seems like a lot to pay for Dak Prescott, the price at quarterback continues to increase with each year. It may be a smart move to extend the young talent before the asking price is too much.
Each of the six highest-paid quarterbacks of the 2018 NFL season were unable to lead their team to the playoffs. The reasoning behind this is because, with so much of the cap being used on the signal caller, it is difficult to add talent elsewhere on the roster. If Prescott is paid $30 million annually, players such as Ezekiel Elliott, Byron Jones or Amari Cooper may need to take a pay cut.
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