Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll continue the series with quarterback Dak Prescott.
What Worked: Before Prescott could really get his season going, a thumb injury he sustained in Week 1 against the Buccaneers sidelined him for the next five games before returning against the Lions in Week 7. He still came back strong nevertheless, throwing for 2,800 yards and 23 touchdowns in just 12 games with a 66% completion percentage. Prescott was vocal about wanting to be aggressive and push the ball down the field, and it showed with a 7.3 yards gained per attempt in 2022 while also posting his second highest touchdown percentage for his career.
Needs Some Work: There is no disputing the interception bug that plagued Prescott following his return from the broken thumb on his throwing hand became one of the biggest storylines for the Cowboys in 2022. The franchise quarterback saw his interception percentage balloon to 3.8% from 1.7% in 2021 and tied the league lead for picks, with 15 while simultaneously setting his career high. Whether it was due to the thumb injury or the time off that led to the uncharacteristically high number of interceptions, it'll be something to watch moving forward with Prescott.
His Best Work: If you were to point to a signature game for Prescott with the Cowboys after seven seasons, you'd be hard-pressed to find one better than his playoff performance against the Buccaneers in wild card round. He passed for 305 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another, making him the first player in franchise history to throw for two or more touchdowns and rush for another en route to a 31-14 win, the Cowboys' first playoff win on the road since 1992.
Contract Consideration: The Cowboys and Prescott recently restructured his four-year $160 million contract that he signed prior to the 2021 season in an effort to clear cap space as he enters the final two years of that deal. The restructuring converted $29 million of his $31 million salary in 2023 into a signing bonus, thus dropping his cap number to $27 million and moving his cap hit in 2024 to $59 million. Looking ahead, it's possible the Cowboys look to extend Prescott to keep him in Dallas.
What's Next: Prescott is only one season removed from setting the franchise record for touchdown passes in a single season and winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. A healthy campaign under head coach Mike McCarthy as his chief play-caller with the departure of Kellen Moore to the Chargers will present a change of pace for Prescott and the Cowboys as a whole, potentially leading to a much more balanced year for the two-time Pro Bowler.