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Could Dak Prescott End Up Playing Out Rookie Deal?

Mauricio Rodriguez



Could Dak Per
Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

A contract extension for Dak Prescott felt imminent just a few weeks ago. The Dallas Cowboys Quarterback has led America's Team to a 32-16 record, two NFC East titles, and a playoff win through his first three seasons. With one year left on his fourth-round rookie deal, Prescott should be ready to get paid. However, although negotiations are ongoing, it seems like it's time to consider the possibility of Prescott playing out his rookie contract instead of signing a huge extension right now.

The reason why is not only the fact that we're only days away from the start of the 2019 regular season as the Cowboys and Prescott have yet to reach a deal, but an interesting answer from Jerry Jones when asked if Dak would have an issue with playing this season if they can't strike a new deal. "Not one bit" was Jones' answer.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Jerry Jones said he "couldn't be more pleased" with Dak Prescott's training camp and preseason. Does Jones think Dak would have any problems playing under the final year of his rookie deal if they can't get a new deal done before the season starts? "Not one bit. Not one bit.

This is made all the more interesting by Ezekiel Elliott's holdout, which sped up negotiations with the running back at a time when the Cowboys' front office was seemingly concentrated on Dak and wide receiver Amari Cooper, whose contracts expire after the 2019 season.

Dak Prescott's improvement has been widely talked about this offseason and we've been able to witness it in the preseason. All the while, we've been discussing how much he is worth. Right now, his value likely stands somewhere between $32 million per year (what recent Carson Wentz' extension averaged) and $35 million, which is where highest-paid Quarterback Russell Wilson ranks.

Reports of Dak asking for $40 million per year emerged a few weeks ago and many fans and analysts went crazy. Whether this figure is accurate or not, it's more than clear that Prescott is not getting that kind of money. He surely knows it. That's just how negotiations work.

Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

But if Jerry Jones thinks Dak wouldn't mind playing out his rookie deal "one bit," however much he signs for in 2020 would definitely be closer to 40 million per year than if he signs right now, unless he takes not one, but three step backwards in the upcoming season, which is very doubtful.

Now, players usually want to secure the bag to have long-term security, but are Jerry's comments proof that Dak could really play out his rookie deal?

After all, he hasn't missed a single day of practice and hasn't shied away from preseason action. Is he confident enough in how he will perform in 2019 to be able to risk playing one more season as one of the most underpaid players in the NFL in order to increase his value next offseason?

Of course the team would be benefited from watching one more season from its promising franchise quarterback, but those benefits might not look as good if they have to break the bank next year. Considering there are many quarterbacks who could drive the price even more (such as Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky and even Patrick Mahomes) by then, the decision to let Dak finish his contract could seem unwise in a handful of months.

That's of course, if he decides to play it out.

If the Cowboys don't sign Prescott to a contract extension before the season begins, I would be very surprised. But the season opener is right around the corner, and there is reason to doubt he could choose to play out his current deal. Now granted, the fact that we're mainly discussing Ezekiel Elliott's holdout doesn't mean the Cowboys and Prescott aren't close to a deal. After all, despite little advertising, Jaylon Smith's contract extension news broke amid all the Zeke drama.

After spending the entire offseason discussing the Dallas Cowboys' upcoming extensions, it's fair to the drama that the season is less than two weeks away and we still don't know what lies ahead.

Tell me what you think about "Could Dak Prescott End Up Playing Out Rookie Deal?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.


Game Notes

Cowboys Offense In-Line For Another Big Day Vs. Lions

Kevin Brady



Amari Cooper Continues to Feast on the Philadelphia Eagles 2

There's no doubt the 2019 Cowboys have been disappointing through the first half of the season. But one area which has actually surpassed preseason expectations has been their offense, specifically their passing attack.

Despite the loss Sunday night, Dallas' offense still ranks first in DVOA- ahead of high powered attacks like the ones in Kansas City, Baltimore, and Seattle. Things have fallen into place for Dallas' offense nearly perfectly, with Dak Prescott positioning himself among the elite passers in the league, and La'el Collins having a breakout season at right tackle.

This week's matchup is yet another favorable one for this Cowboys offense, as the Detroit Lions come in reeling on the defensive side of the ball. Detroit ranks 25th overall in terms of defensive DVOA, and have been equally below average against both the run and pass (23rd and 20th in DVOA respectively).

Roster talent wise, there isn't a ton to get excited about on the Lions defense. Where last week's opponent had potential game breakers on each level of their defense, Detroit's talent is much more modest.

Still, free agent acquisition Trey Flowers has proven to be a solid defensive end and Damon "Snacks" Harrison has long been an elite run stuffer on the interior. In the back end, Darius Slay is a legit number one cornerback, but even he isn't enough to bolster this unit on his own.

In theory, the Cowboys should be able to get whatever they want offensively against the Lions this week, making it imperative they remain aggressive through the air. Jason Garrett coached teams love to try to "impose their will" with their offensive line and run game, but this is yet another week where the Cowboys' biggest advantage is likely driven by Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.

If all works according to plan the Cowboys will be able to utilize Prescott to win this game, and then lean on Ezekiel Elliott to kill clock late. The exact formula we had hoped for heading into the season months ago.

Of course, this would require something the Cowboys haven't really done whatsoever this season: start fast offensively.

But if you look at the remaining schedule, it's really now or never for this version of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Game Notes

3 Things the Dallas Cowboys Need to do Against the Detroit Lions

Brian Martin



3 Things the Dallas Cowboys Need to do Against the Detroit Lions

The  Dallas Cowboys are coming off yet another disappointing loss at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. Their season and playoff hopes could be hanging in the balance now, which makes just about every game from here on out all that more important. They need to start playing as if their backs are against the wall, because that very well could be the case.

Luckily the Dallas Cowboys should be able to take care of business this week when they hit the road to take on the Detroit Lions. This is one of the more winnable games left on the Cowboys schedule this year and they should use it as a bit of a refresher game of sorts in order to get things back on track. The objective of course remains the same… Winning. But, this is also an opportunity to clean a few things up.

Let's take a look at a few things I think the Dallas Cowboys need to do against the Detroit Lions in this Week 11 matchup.

Hit the Ground Running

Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper

No more slow starts! The Dallas Cowboys have to hit the ground running against the Detroit Lions instead of digging themselves into an early hole like they've done quite a bit this season. I honestly don't care if it's on the arm of Quarterback Dak Prescott or on the legs of Running Back Ezekiel Elliott, the offense has to figure out some way to be the aggressor in order to put points on the board early.

The Dallas Cowboys fell behind early in nearly every single one of their losses this season. I don't think a single team has really outplayed them yet this year, but when they have to scratch and claw their way back to get out of the hole they've dug themselves into it makes it exceedingly more difficult to win. It's time to change that narrative this week against the Detroit Lions so that hopefully it carries over for the rest of the year.

Execute! Execute! Execute!

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

The second thing the Dallas Cowboys need to do this week against the Detroit Lions is to clean up their execution, especially in the defensive side of the ball. Offensively things are going pretty well for the Cowboys, but the same can't be said about their defense. Despite all the talent they've added this season they are still struggling to put everything together and play up to expectations. Hopefully this Week 11 matchup helps them right the ship.

This is a game the Dallas Cowboys should be able to focus on their execution. That means maintaining their gap integrity in the running game, staying assignment sound in the passing game, and most importantly finish the tackle. Tackling was especially poor last week against the Vikings which is why Dalvin Cook ran wild. This has to be a group effort here. Yes, individuals need to improve, but for the overall defense to play up to expectations they have to execute as a unit.

Establish the Running Game

Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard

Dak Prescott has been playing phenomenal these past few games and has proven he's more than capable of carrying the offense on his back, but the Dallas Cowboys still need to establish the running game. Just about everything Prescott does in the passing game is built off of play action. If the running game isn't producing that hurts the overall offensive output. Plus, the best way to control the game is by running the ball.

I think Ezekiel Elliott should have a pretty big game against the Detroit Lions this week. After being bottled up by the Vikings last week that should be news to the Cowboys ears. This offense feeds off of Zeke and it needs him to find his groove now that we're getting into the do or die part of the NFL season. No. 21 isn't the only RB who needs to find his groove though. Tony Pollard needs to start being more involved and what better game to get him going than against Detroit.

What do you think the Dallas Cowboys need to do against the Detroit Lions?

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Game Notes

Lion Down: QB Matthew Stafford Ruled Out for Cowboys Game

Jess Haynie




The Detroit Lions will be without starting Quarterback Matthew Stafford this Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys. He has been officially ruled out due to fractures in his back; the second-straight game that Stafford will miss with the injury.

Fourth-year backup QB Jeff Driskel will get the start as he did last week against the Chicago Bears. The Lions lost that game 20-13, and Driskel went 1-4 as a starter last season when playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Stafford's status was confirmed this morning by Lions' Head Coach Matt Patricia.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cowboys

Losing Stafford could leave Detroit completely crippled on offense. While they have one of the league's top passing offenses so far in 2019, that was all Matt's work at QB. Now they are missing both their starting QB and their top running back, Kerryon Johnson, who went on injured reserve in Week 7.

That said, Detroit did put up 357 total offensive yards last week against the Bears with Driskel starting. Given the quality of Chicago's defense and that the Lions were playing on the road, that's a strong number.

It will be interesting to see how Dallas strategizes on defense after last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys were completely run over by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, so will increased focus on run defense creates opportunities for Driskel and the Lions' receivers?

However it shakes out, Matthew Stafford's absence definitely helps the Cowboys. He is still one of the top quarterbacks in football and had a top-five passer rating before the injury.

We never root for injuries but such is life in the NFL. Sometimes you get the benefit, sometimes you're on the losing end.

Hopefully, this turn of fate helps Dallas get a much-needed victory.

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