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Mailbag: Will Change in Philosophy Affect QB?


Mike McCarthy stated that he doesn't want to be the No. 1 offense but the No. 1 team, willing to give up stats to control the clock and preserve the defense. I actually love this scenario, however, if that is the new plan, does that lessen the need for a $40 million quarterback? – Donnie Leger/Dallas, TX

Nick: I'm not sure that's exactly what McCarthy said, to be fair. I know what you're saying and yes, McCarthy is more interested in the end result than the stats. But of course, he wants a top-rated offense that can go score when needed. As for the QB and his salary, don't forget that by the time the first game is played in 2023, Dak's $40 million per-year contract will probably rank anywhere from 11-14 in the NFL. That's not middle-of-the-road, but not at the very top either. And if you were to honestly rank Dak among the best QBs in the game, that's probably about the range in which he'd finish. My point is, Dak isn't making more than he deserves. This is what you pay for a QB with his experience and ability. If you want to mention the 49ers playoff game, just remember the game that got him there. His performance against the Bucs is one of the best playoff games in NFL history. I think you need a QB that manage the game, but also show he can go win it. Dak has done that and I don't think McCarthy or any coach is looking to cut corners at quarterback.

Patrik: Focus less on the price and more on the quality of quarterback, because the price is dictated by the market at the position while the quality component is why, while Prescott has had his mistakes (as I pointed out immediately following the loss to the 49ers), he's also one of the top-10 quarterbacks in the league (and teams are going to pay for that kind of ability) and you'll need that when the inevitable shootout comes a'knocking. If you're in a playoff game against Patrick Mahomes, are you fine with Cooper Rush having to air it out to keep pace? No, you're not. And as far as McCarthy's statement goes, I also loved it, but I also took it with the appropriate context. He's saying if the Cowboys are up three scores, run the ball and let the defense stay rested, as one example. In that scenario, all Prescott must do is understand the purpose of a run being called and not check out of it.

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