The Dallas Cowboys face a big decision regarding quarterback Dak Prescott. Do you pay him the money that he feels he deserves? Do you franchise tag him and risk a holdout? There seems to be a split decision about what the Cowboys should do.
Two former Cowboys legends also have differing opinions. Emmitt Smith, who held out for more money during the 1993 season, feels that Dak should take less money because he can make it up in endorsements and then the Cowboys can use that money to sign other key pieces.
Darren Woodson feels that asking Dak to take less money is a "slap in the face".
Woodson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "It's a slap in the face for people to say he should take less. That is a slap in that man's face. They are not out here. I am watching every day. That is a slap in that man's face."
Even though it seems a bit hypocritical of Smith to say that Dak should take less, I do agree with him.
Yes, the Cowboys have $77 million in cap space but they have plenty of needs and will also want to pay Amari Cooper and Byron Jones, who are both unrestricted free agents. The addition of Cooper has helped Dak immensely, even if he tends to disappear in road games.
The Cowboys are built to be a run-first team, which is why the signing of Ezekiel Elliott to top dollar makes more sense than paying Dak that kind of money. Dak, while playing well at times, has also disappeared in major moments such as week 16 in the 2017 season against the Seahawks. The Cowboys were facing a must-win at home and Dak threw for less than 200 yards and two interceptions. This past season, on the road against the Eagles in week 16, the Cowboys could not muster a touchdown against a mediocre defense.
Everything needs to be perfect for Dak to succeed which is why it doesn't make sense for him to make top dollar. He's been to the playoffs twice in four years. You look at other notable quarterbacks drafted in 2016, Carson Wentz has performed at an MVP-caliber level and if not for injuries, would have won an MVP. Wentz also has a Super Bowl ring (even if he missed the game due to injury). Then you look at Jared Goff who has also been to a Super Bowl. Both of those guys have cashed in and deservedly so.
Dak did improve last year under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and no longer has that "Dak and dunk" title to his name but losing four of the last six down the stretch to miss out on the playoffs stings. The fact that the Cowboys did not beat a team with a winning record last season has to speak volumes and the poor performances in must-win games looms large.
The Cowboys begin a new era this season with new head coach Mike McCarthy taking over for Jason Garrett. Dak will surely be in the Cowboys plans but at what cost?
Again, I'm in favor of Emmitt Smith's comments that Dak needs to take less to make sure he has the pieces around him to succeed. But then there's the Darren Woodson side who feels it is a "slap in the face" to ask him to take less.
Time will tell where the Cowboys fall on that debate.
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