It’s all in the numbers for Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys

Numbers will measure Dak Prescott’s eighth NFL season.

Can he help the Dallas Cowboys end their embarrassing 28-year streak without an appearance in the NFC Championship game? Can he become just the seventh quarterback older than 30 to win Super Bowl in the last 20 years? Will he sign a contract worth more than $50 million after the 2023 season ends?

See, it’s all about the numbers for Prescott and coach Mike McCarthy, who’s had consecutive 12-win seasons.
Prescott didn’t play well last year, throwing a league-leading 15 interceptions and passing for just 238.3 yards per game, his lowest yardage total since 2017.

So, play-caller Kellen Moore was essentially fired, and McCarthy assumed those duties. He’s implemented more West Coast offense concepts, such as crossing routes and screen passes, to the Cowboys’ scheme.

The Cowboys also added a talent like Brandin Cooks, who’s had 1,000-yard seasons with four different teams. Pairing him with CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, who struggled in his first season back from ACL surgery, and the offense is expected to be elite.

So, is the defense led by Micah Parsons, one of the preseason favorites to be named defensive player of the year.

“I think it’s right there at the top in terms of the past going on back to [Tony] Romo’s runs. I think this team has the depth,” Stephen Jones told reporters Tuesday. “I think it’s got quality certainly finding guys like [Stephon] Gilmore and [Brandin] Cooks make a huge difference in terms of, I think, improving our team from what we were last year.”

Jerry Jones was more succinct when he spoke to Peter King for his Football Morning in America column.
“I think this year we’re in a better position to win it than we have been in years,” he said. “We have the team, and we have the quarterback.”

Sooner or later, it always gets back to the quarterback.

Related: NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Dak Prescott under pressure for the Dallas Cowboys

dallas cowboys' dak prescott

Prescott will need a special season to join Brad Johnson, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, and Matthew Stafford as the only quarterbacks in their 30s to win a Super Bowl since 2003. They combined to do it 10 times, with Brady accounting for four of those victories.

Prescott won just his second playoff game last year, sending Brady into retirement. But Prescott followed it up with a two-interception performance against San Francisco in a 19-12 loss.

Quarterbacks who win Super Bowls are typically young guys playing on their rookie contracts, which allow teams to build their rosters before the quarterback’s second contract takes a huge chunk of the salary cap.

“I think you have to use your scars in that sense,” Dak Prescott told King. “To say I’m continuing to relive it, it’s past me at this point. “…We’re using the things that hurt us last year. That’ll be our strength this year.”

Prescott is in the third year of a four-year, $160 million deal. When he re-signed with Dallas after being franchised, he negotiated a clause prohibiting the Cowboys from placing the franchise tag on him.

Related: Ranking Dak Prescott and the NFL’s 32 starting QBs

If he plays well and the Cowboys make a deep playoff run, he’ll reset the quarterback because he’ll have all the leverage in negotiations with Dallas. And if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, he’ll undoubtedly reset the market.

But it all starts with Prescott putting up big numbers this season.

Jean-Jacques Taylor is an NFL Insider for Sportsnaut and the author of the upcoming book “Coach Prime“, with Deion Sanders. Follow him on Twitter.

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