Dak Prescott continues to be reminded of his value as Jerry Jones becomes the latest to double down on the Cowboys' strategy to make sure the two-time Pro Bowler stays put in Dallas
INDIANAPOLIS — One thing you can count on this offseason and that is the Dallas Cowboys' passion for Dak Prescott being their franchise quarterback. In a recent Q&A with head coach Mike McCarthy, speaking from the 2023 NFL Combine in Indy, there was no room for interpretation in the message that the organization is seeking to keep the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback as the centerpiece of their team going forward.
McCarthy was unequivocal.
"We're going to build it off of what he has established," he said, "My decision to stay with his concepts, and so forth, is still intact because I wouldn't have done what I did in 2020 if I didn't believe in him. As an organization, myself included, feel very strongly about him as our future.
"We will definitely build this thing around him."
Two days later, also speaking from the Combine, owner and general manager Jerry Jones doubled down on McCarthy's statement. So while Jones has recently admitted he'll draft a quarterback in April, it's not with an eye on trying to replace the 2023 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year anytime soon, but more so to ensure that the organization is ready when the time comes down the road.
In Jones' eyes, Prescott is on the same trajectory as Tom Brady.
"I've really felt for quite a while that Dak has the ability, and I don't want to dare do this to Dak or me or anybody, but I think just as Brady became, in my mind, better and better and more impactful as [the Patriots] won as he got into his career — I think Dak really has those qualities. I think he can get better."
Jones also said he has Prescott in his plans as QB1 for years to come.
"When I start seeing something on the field, on the field, that would logically tell you that we need to start looking ahead past Dak — I don't see that kind of thing happening in the next years. And I said years."
Yes, years, as in plural, folks.
What also works toward that goal is the fact Prescott is set to hit the Cowboys salary cap in 2023 for more than $101 million over the next two seasons, meaning an extension being done this offseason is not only likely — it makes perfect financial sense.
And that's why the team's front office isn't shy about admitting they're interested in getting one done, considering it would free up tens of millions of dollars that can be used for free agency.
Considering the laundry list of top-shelf in-house talent on expiring contracts, and in how head coach Mike McCarthy would like to keep as many of them as possible, the more money that can be freed up, the better.
But, money aside, the Cowboys are all-in on not only making sure they won't have a quarterback issue anytime soon — shades of the post-Aikman, pre-Romo days — they've committed to putting the pieces around him, even if that means breaking from recent tradition and making a big splash this spring.
"Don't dismiss us doing something special," said Jones.
As always, we're tuned in.