Dak Prescott’s destiny at crossroads as Cowboys extend commitment to Mike McCarthy

With the echoes of a 48-32 playoff defeat to the Green Bay Packers lingering at AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys face a critical offseason. The spotlight not only scrutinizes the uncertainties surrounding Coach Mike McCarthy’s job security but also centers on the pivotal decision regarding the future of star quarterback Dak Prescott. 

The playoff loss prompts a thorough evaluation, making the upcoming decisions critical in determining the Cowboys’ direction for the upcoming seasons.

How McCarthy’s extension clouds Dak Prescott’s future

Despite the playoff loss, Mike McCarthy is confirmed to continue as the Cowboys’ head coach for a fifth season. Jerry Jones expressed belief in McCarthy’s ability to lead the team towards its ultimate goals, emphasizing continuity in progress under McCarthy’s leadership.

“I believe this team is very close and capable of achieving our ultimate goals and the best step forward for us will be with Mike McCarthy as our head coach,” Jones said in a statement released by the team. “There is great benefit to continuing the team’s progress under Mike’s leadership as our head coach.”

McCarthy’s regular-season record of 42-25 includes NFC East titles in 2021 and 2023. McCarthy’s return for the fifth season sets up an interesting dynamic, especially if the five-year deal signed in 2020 remains unchanged. Now that McCarthy’s future with the team is confirmed, a question arises about Dak Prescott’s contract extension. 

Dak Prescott
Via CBS Sports

Quarterback Dak Prescott is entering the final year of his four-year, $160 million contract in 2024. Prescott’s performance in the playoffs was set as a criteria to decide about a potential contract extension.

The team’s failure to achieve ultimate playoff success potentially led to the Cowboys considering moving on from Prescott after nine seasons as their starting quarterback.

Jerry Jones emphasized a thorough review and consideration of all factors impacting the team and roster without specifying players or contract extensions.

“We will start our process of review and decision-making regarding everything that impacts our team and roster,” Jones said. “While we’re not going to address specific players and extensions or free agents at this point, it deserves our deepest review and consideration, and it will get it.”

Despite disappointment in the playoff result, Jones expressed full support for McCarthy and highlighted the potential for growth in the dynamic between McCarthy and Prescott.

Speculations are that if Mike McCarthy will continue with the team, it means the team might also offer Dak Prescott a contract extension instead of trading him.

Dak’s performance holds key to future negotiations

The Dallas Cowboys were viewed as legitimate Super Bowl contenders this year, and the performance of QB Dak Prescott was considered a crucial factor in their success. He even got acknowledgement from the star QB Aaron Rodgers.

Prescott has been a major reason for the team’s success in 2023, having one of his best NFL seasons. Despite historical postseason struggles, many NFL experts believed that the team was poised for a Super Bowl run.

Dak Prescott ranks in the top five in several key NFL quarterback categories, including passing yards, touchdowns, and quarterback rating. His performance makes him a frontrunner for MVP, showcasing his significance to the team’s success.

While Prescott’s regular-season performance has been prolific, his postseason performance wasn’t satisfactory enough to help the team win. The Cowboys lost the playoff game and the QB took his share of the blame stating, “I sucked tonight, that was it.”

Dak Prescott
Via FOX

Despite the playoff upset, it is considered unlikely for the Cowboys to move on from Prescott, given his role as the starting franchise quarterback.

In early December, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport anticipated a “rich” contract extension for Prescott during the offseason, as his current contract expires in 2024. There is a possibility that if Dak Prescott gets a contract extension, he will become one of the highest-paid NFL players. But the question is will the team offer him such an extension?

The existing financial commitment to Prescott, currently a “$40 million APY” player, is likely to lead to another significant commitment, possibly in the range of “$50 or $60 million APY.”

The debate over whether Prescott is worth a $50 or $60 million salary is redundant, considering his performance this season. However, his performance in the playoff game is overshadowing his exceptional regular-season performance. 

The Cowboys’ commitment to Dak Prescott is still uncertain and the team has yet to make a final decision on whether a contract extension or a new quarterback option will be better for the team’s future. What do you think the Cowboys should do for the best outcome? Tell us in the comments section.

Maheen Zaib

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Maheen is a writer for SportsZion. She's your go-to for all things NFL, from epic game highlights to trade scoops and breaking news. Navigating the sports scene with flair, join her on this thrilling journey through the NFL's wild ride. Let's score some great reads together!

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