In 2019, Dak Prescott was one of the NFL’s best on third down and long.
The Dallas Cowboys offered Dak Prescott a contract extension worth a reported $33 million per year in September. Nine month later, he’s still without a contract, with the team forced to hit him with the franchise tag to keep him in Big D. These negotiations have been especially fraught and a source of consternation among fans — and if Prescott is in need of a breakthrough, he can turn to one highly specific stat.
In 2019, he can argue that no passer in the NFL was better on third down with 10 yards or more to go.
Dak Prescott is a lot better than the Cowboys are willing to pay him right now
Nearly a third of the time, Dak threw for a first down on third and a mile. That’s sensational. Consider that all-world superstar Patrick Mahomes converted such situations at a rate of approximately 23%, and is widely accepted to be in line for a record-setting contract extension of his own in due time.
Point blank, if Prescott wants that Russell Wilson deal he’s rumored to want, he can point directly to this high-leverage number in his favor, because coming off career highs in passing yards, touchdowns, and yards per attempt clearly isn’t enough for Jerry and Stephen Jones.
Unless Dallas wants Andy Dalton leading them to 7-9 seasons until that impeccable red hair of his goes completely gray, they need to thread the needle, bite the bullet, and pay their franchise QB. Consider it back pay; he’ll make just over $31 million under the tag this season, but made an average annual salary of just $680,848 on his rookie deal, a span that included a Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowls, and playoff berths.
Oh, and there’s that, too.
He was underpaid while he miraculously converted all those third-and-10s, folks. If the Cowboys can’t respect that, they may as well prepare to watch him wear another team’s jersey in 2021.