Dak Prescott doesn't have a long-term deal with the Cowboys just yet, but new head coach Mike McCarthy is all-in on Prescott as his starting quarterback.
More importantly, McCarthy believes Prescott is capable of leading the Cowboys back to a Super Bowl.
"I think number one, you just look at what he's done during his time in the league. I think he's been impressive," McCarthy said from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "I've been impressed with him since the first time I saw him play live up in Green Bay (as a rookie in 2016) when they came to Lambeau there. First impressions I think are very important when you see quarterbacks on the field because in-person evaluations, particularly at that position, have always carried more weight as far as how I felt about a player. So, I think he's gotten off to a great start. He's built a really good foundation. I'm told he's a tremendous leader.
"Defenses get you to the championship. The quarterbacks win championships. And I definitely think Dak is that quarterback."
McCarthy knows a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback when he sees one. He coached Aaron Rodgers for 13 seasons in Green Bay. Together, they reached four NFC title games and won Super Bowl XLV inside AT&T Stadium during the 2010 season.
In that game, Rodgers delivered an MVP performance with 304 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions to beat the Steelers 31-25.
To McCarthy's point, the quarterback was the catalyst on the game's biggest stage.
In Dallas, McCarthy plans to build an offense that accentuates Prescott's strengths. Prescott had a career season in 2019, throwing for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns. Kellen Moore is back as Cowboys offensive coordinator, and last year's tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier has transitioned to quarterbacks coach.
There is continuity in place for the 26-year-old starter, and McCarthy's experience can only help Prescott's development.
Technically, Prescott has an expiring contract, but the Cowboys' front office says the top priority is re-signing him to a long-term deal. If an agreement isn't reached by the March 12 franchise tag deadline, the Cowboys can franchise Prescott to protect his rights and continue negotiating into the summer.
McCarthy said he and Prescott have been in touch recently. He didn't want to speculate on any offseason hypotheticals, specifically Prescott's attendance in the voluntary workout program this spring if a new deal isn't reached by then.
In short, it's not a concern for the Cowboys' new head coach. He knows who his quarterback is.
"Really, Dak is in a business situation now obviously," McCarthy said. "I've gone through this as a head coach with a number of my players in the past. I think like anything, it's time to be patient and let the business people work out the business matter. … We'll just take it one day at a time."