With over 20 free agents and major changes throughout the coaching staff, the 2020 offseason is a significant one in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. No roster decision is bigger than what to do with Dak Prescott's contract, and getting the starting quarterback taken care off should be Dallas' top priority now.
Clarifying the QB situation is as important to the Cowboys' salary cap strategy as it is to stabilizing the atmosphere around the organization. The move from Jason Garrett to Mike McCarthy at head coach, and the almost complete sweep of the other coordinator and coaching positions that came with it, has already shaken the team to the core.
Prescott's leadership may be more important now than ever before. Between the coaching changes and the likelihood that players like Jason Witten and Sean Lee are on the way out, Dak will be relied on more than ever to use his voice and help his teammates make the transition.
Contract negotiations don't necessarily mean that Prescott couldn't participate with the team this offseason. That's entirely up to him, but why leave that door open if you're the Cowboys?
Along with wanting to secure Dak's presence throughout the spring and summer, Dallas would benefit from confirming the quarterback's massive new contract before they engage in other offseason business.
Major decisions are on the way about free agents like WR Amari Cooper and CB Byron Jones, who would be among the top targets in the league if they hit the open market in March. They and Prescott top the huge list of free agents that includes Witten, Lee, Robert Quinn, Randall Cobb, Jeff Heath, Maliek Collins, and more.
Franchise players, starters, key roleplayers; the Cowboys roster may change in 2020 like we haven't seen in a long time. Given that much uncertainty, having Dak Prescott's finances figured out helps set the foundation for the entire salary cap.
Some of the last few contract negotiations with top players like Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant have gone down into training camp and even close to the start of the regular season. Zack Martin's was done in June, and Demarcus Lawrence's signed his new contract in early April. Suffice to say that there is no clear timetable for when things can be decided between Prescott and the Cowboys.
But for the sake of the team's strategy and mentality for the 2020 offseason, the Cowboys really should push to get Dak Prescott signed in the several weeks. There's been enough change; one less cloud of uncertainty would be good for all parties.