FRISCO, Texas – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has never forgotten the quarterback advice he got from arguably the greatest quarterback in team history.
"'Get somebody at quarterback that the players will follow. That's the biggest thing of all,'" Jones recalls Staubach telling him years ago. "I've had that in my mind for the last five, six years.
And that's been loud and clear."
Dak Prescott has fit that description as well as any quarterback in the league over the last five years. It's a big reason, beyond Prescott's physical ability, that the Cowboys felt comfortable giving him easily the largest contract in franchise history this week: four years worth over $160 million.
Cowboys legend Michael Irvin recently said on ESPN that Prescott's leadership draws comparisons to Bucs Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady because both are the "heart and soul" of their respective teams.
An example is what Prescott did from October through December last season. Following surgery to repair a right-ankle compound fracture and dislocation, he continued to go through the daily COVID-19 testing protocol so he could support his Cowboys teammates in person.
"We were also struggling on the field," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. "And to have Dak there every day, I know Coach (Mike) McCarthy counted on him, talking to him to get the pulse of the team. Our leaders on our team were obviously having long visits with Dak. Just showed me and Jerry all the more how special he is and how many boxes he does check."
At Wednesday's press conference announcing his new deal, Prescott also referenced a Staubach quote about work ethic.
"Take the extra mile and see how lonely it is," he said. "But that's the great part about it is the back end of it. You're going to get everything you want because everything you put into it will be reciprocated."
That's the approach Prescott will continue to take in his 2021 comeback season as the Cowboys' leader, on and off the field.