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Dallas Cowboys 2020 Offseason Preview: Quarterback

The entered the 2020 process with two of their most important job positions surrounded in uncertainty; and starting . has now filled one of those voids, but what about Dak Prescott's ? What's next for the Cowboys and their offensive leader?

Today begins 's position-by-position breakdown of Dallas' roster as we prepare for , the draft, and all other offseason business. Before we dive into the narrative, here's a snapshot of where we're at today:

2020 Quarterback Contract Statuses

UFA = Unrestricted, RFA = Restricted

Nobody, even Clayton Thorson's mother, thinks he should be the Cowboys' starting QB in 2020. Few would even be comfortable with him as a backup, having never even see him play in a game with Dallas.

So indeed, with Prescott and Rush both free agents, there is work to do at quarterback. On top of those needs, McCarthy's arrival brings a major change in the offensive philosophy and values from the last regime.

We're entering a new era of Dallas Cowboys football. Does the new coach believe in the holdover QB, or could McCarthy possibly want to move in a new direction?

Report: Cowboys Hoping to Extended Dak Prescott Before Season Opener
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

So far, both McCarthy and the have left no room for speculation about Prescott's future with the team. Whether it's through a long-term deal or the franchise tag, they have been clear in their desire to keep Dak in Dallas.

Last week I wrote about the need to get Prescott's contract figured out sooner rather than later. I think it will lay the foundation needed for the rest of the offseason work, plus guarantee that Dak stays close to the team to help others through the transition in the staff.

According to in a recent , the Cowboys and Prescott were close to agreeing on a new contract before the began. Did last year's highs and lows leave the two sides in roughly the same spot?

Dak had a breakout season as a passer, thanks largely to the play-calling shift in going from to at . But Prescott also looked smarter and smoother in the pocket, which many credit first-year QB Coach Jon Kitna for.

Early in 2019 there was buzz around Prescott's performance. But by the end of the year and with Dallas missing the , Dak didn't even make the .

How much has the needle moved on Prescott's asking price in free agency? His stock shot up in September but settled a bit by the end of the season. What does that now mean for contract negotiations in 2020?

The bottom line here is that the Cowboys, including Mike McCarthy, appear firmly committed to keeping Dak Prescott this season. By whatever means that occurs, his compensation is about go up by $30 million dollars or more from the roughly $2 million he made in 2019. It's a financial hurdle that Dallas has been preparing for and is now upon us.

But while Prescott's return in 2020 seems like a sure thing, but the same can't be said for his backup.

Cooper Rush
Dallas Cowboys QB Cooper Rush

We've had 2.5 seasons now with Cooper Rush serving as the primary backup. As an undrafted rookie he took over midway through 2017 from Kellen Moore and has held the job ever since.

Rush is a in 2020. A few weeks ago I broke down the particulars of his situation and the logic behind keeping Cooper or letting him walk.

While Dak Prescott certainly appears ready to survive the coaching regime change, Rush is a different story. His greatest asset right now is in the , but does McCarthy's arrival mitigate that value?

It helps that Kellen Moore is sticking around as the offensive coordinator and play caller. He might appreciate the continuity and push for Rush to stick around.

But McCarthy likely has his own list of backup and developmental quarterbacks from around the . What about a guy like Brett Hundley, who is about to become a and was with Mike in Green Bay from 2016-2017?

That is just one example; who knows what other players out there might be on McCarthy's radar? He just spent all of 2019 watching the entire NFL and preparing for his return.

Dallas shouldn't have any trouble keeping Cooper Rush if they want to. He's never had the opportunity to show things in the ; teams are unlikely to target him as a free agent.

Of course, most aren't losing sleep about Rush's future. The focus is all on Dak Prescott's next contract; when will it get done, how long will it be, and how much will it be worth?

But clearly, with both the starter and the backup heading into free agency, quarterback is going to be a major story throughout the .

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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