ARLINGTON, Texas – So when’s the press conference?
It’s got to be this week, right? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question any more than you guys, but my gut just tells me it will certainly be sooner rather than later to get Dak Prescott a new contract.
Because if the Cowboys wait any more, and Dak goes out to Washington and puts up a performance like that again, he might actually get that $40 million a season that his group reportedly had asked for last month.
What’s funny is that all offseason I kept hearing how Dak needed to make sure and sign a new deal before he played a game. The risk of injury is always out there and with that much money sitting on the table, it just made too much sense to get a deal done before he played again. That’s at least what Ezekiel Elliott seemed to think.
But maybe the pressure should be on the Cowboys to get it done. Forget Dak getting hurt as the risk. Perhaps the biggest risk now is Dak driving the price tag up even more.
That question was asked pointblank to Cowboys COO Stephen Jones after the game, and he just responded with a firm, “No comment.”
Maybe Dak’s price did go up. How it could not?
All this guy did was go out and throw a perfect game in football terms, finishing the day with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. He threw four touchdowns to four different players, and led the Cowboys to five straight scoring drives – most of which were over 80 yards – to simply dominate the Giants in every way possible.
With so much talk about him getting a new deal and would this be a distraction, it actually looked – for about five minutes – that Dak wasn’t at his best. His passes were either high, or late, or behind the guy, or a combination of some of those. He just wasn’t sharp.
And then he was a knife, just slicing through the Giants with ease.
Actually, this was something we could see back in the summer during OTAs. Now, that can be tricky because you know he’s not facing a strong rush that is going to knock him down. But he was still finding wide open receivers all over the field. That didn’t happen so much in training camp, but there were still times that Kellen Moore’s new offense showed the ability to scheme receivers wide open on different routes.
And as long as the Cowboys can truly have a “pick your poison” offense, then it can be very dangerous. While that sounds easy to say, it’s not always the case. Sometimes there are situations in which not every player on the team can handle “multiple options.” Didn’t sound like Antonio Brown was real excited to get those younger receivers the ball in Pittsburgh last year. We’ve even see it here with this team. All the great receivers – Michael Irvin, Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant – they all want the football. Win or lose, give them the ball.
Maybe Amari Cooper will be that way, but he doesn’t come off that way. He got plenty of chances to shine, and he did just that. As did Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb and even Blake Jarwin and Jason Witten.
Dak did a masterful job of spreading the ball around and keeping the Giants off balance.
Personally, I can’t remember a game in which the quarterback was so good. I’m sure there was one or two from Tony Romo and maybe Troy Aikman – but not with these stats. And definitely not with this contract-cloud hanging over them.
Take your pick on his impressive stats. Personally, I like the fact that he was one of just four players in the history of the NFL to throw for 400 yards with four touchdowns … and a perfect 158.3 rating. Sure, you can get a high rating by throwing a touchdown or two with a few attempts. But you can’t get 400 passing yards without a few attempts – 35 to be exact.
Here’s another stat: How about the only Cowboys quarterback with more than 20 attempts to have a perfect rating.
Any way you slice it, this was one of the greatest individual performances in franchise history, and he did it with all of these “distractions” around him.
Hmm, I can hear the critics now, saying something like, “Maybe the Cowboys should keep him hungry if he’s going to play like that.”
But again, that’s a risky stance because that price tag might continue to soar – if it hasn’t already.