Heading into this NFL offseason, there was a feeling multiple quarterbacks would be changing teams.
Two trades have seen three teams find new signal-callers, but more change could be on the way.
Last year saw Prescott receive the franchise tag.
With reports Dak wants to be paid “right behind Patrick Mahomes”, Dallas may be inclined to tag their star QB a second time.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) March 1, 2021
Especially with Prescott coming off a serious leg injury.
The lack of traction in contract talks has led to speculation ‘America’s Team’ could try to trade for Russell Wilson.
The Seattle Seahawks’ veteran leader is reportedly frustrated with his lack of protection from the offensive line.
If it is true Dallas is skeptical about meeting Dak’s demands, should they try to trade him for Wilson?
Cowboys Want to Win
The obvious first question Dallas would ask is whether they feel Wilson gives them a better chance to win.
That should be a resounding ‘yes’.
Prescott has been a very good quarterback since being drafted 135th overall in the 2016 draft.
He has a 42-27 record while throwing for 17,634 yards, 106 TDs, and 40 INTs.
Before the injury last year, he was on his way to having a career year.
371.2 passing yards-per-game on 68% completion and 9 TDs across 5 games.
All numbers on track to be career-highs.
But as good as Prescott is and has been, Wilson is every bit as good.
.@danorlovsky7 double's down after saying it would be a grave mistake for the Cowboys to pay Dak Prescott $40 million a year.
"Dak Prescott's a good quarterback. I want somebody … to tell me when Dak has been great?!" pic.twitter.com/XfoNwPRbjC
— First Take (@FirstTake) February 26, 2021
Across 9 NFL seasons, he has compiled a 98-45-1 record, winning at least 10 games in all but one season.
He has completed 65% of his career passes for 33,946 yards, 267 TDs, and 81 INTs.
Wilson is also coming off a season that saw him post career-bests in completion percentage and TDs.
‘Mr. Unlimited’ seems to be in the prime of his career.
And Dallas seems primed to win now.
They have one of the better offensive lines that is a piece or two away from returning to its once-dominant status.
The defense needs work, but they have nearly $24 million to spend in free agency and the #10 pick in the draft.
As good as Dak has been, Wilson gives Dallas a better chance to win right now.
The other aspect to consider is the financial aspect.
Wilson signed a 4-year, $140 million extension in 2019.
That gave him an average annual salary of $35 million.
Prescott just played the past season on the franchise tag to the tune of $31.4 million.
If the Cowboys tag him again, it will cost them $37.7 million.
With Dak reportedly wanting to be paid “right behind Mahomes”, that means they are looking at $40 – $44 million a year.
And it’s hard to argue he doesn’t deserve that money when looking at the stats.
Through the first 4 weeks of the 2020 season, Dak was on an absolute tear.
He set an NFL record for most yards through the first 4 weeks with 1,690 – 364 more than 2nd place.
2020 NFL passing leaders through Week 4:
– Dak Prescott, 1690
– Josh Allen, 1326
– Russell Wilson, 1285
– Matt Ryan, 1246
– Aaron Rodgers, 1214
– Teddy Bridgewater, 1147
– Gardner Minshew, 1138
– Patrick Mahomes, 1134
– Tom Brady, 1122
– Joe Burrow, 1121
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) October 6, 2020
Prescott had also thrown 9 TDs to just 3 INTs.
Go back to the 2019 season, and Prescott finished 2nd in passing yards, 4th in passing TDs, and 4th in QBR.
He has clearly earned his money, but that doesn’t change the fact he would be more expensive than Wilson.
Dak’s cap hit could be lessened based on how it is structured, but he will still be making at least $5 million more per year than Wilson.
Dallas has more holes to fill than just the QB spot.
$5 – $7 million of extra cap space would go a long way towards plugging those holes.
The final factor is, of course, the difference in age.
While Wilson is 32 and currently in his prime, Prescott is only 27 and appears to still be improving.
Signing Dak to a long-term deal would ensure he plays in Dallas for his prime years.
Trading for Russell would give Dallas the better quarterback, but for how much longer?
It is clear modern science has allowed players to elongate their playing careers.
Wilson has shown no signs of slowing down, but he has been one of the most sacked QBs in the past few years.
How much longer does he have until the hits start to add up?
It would be a calculated risk on Dallas’s part to trade for the older, more talented QB.
But it should be a risk the Cowboys are willing to take.
This is not an indictment of Prescott, but more a sign of just how good Wilson is.
He has been among the league’s elite for five years and is a proven winner.
His contract would not hamstring the Cowboys in free agency and allow them some wiggle room to round out the roster.
Surrounding Wilson with skill position players like Zeke, Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup would give Dallas one of the league’s most explosive offenses.