Cowboys offseason decisions will put pressure on Dak Prescott to utilize a roster with holes

Dak Prescott had his best statistical season of his career as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys in 2023. He threw for 4,516 passing yards (career-high), 36 touchdowns, and nine interceptions with a 69.5 completion percentage (career-high). He also had a 105.9 passer rating which is the best of his career. Prescott led the team to a 12-5 record for a third-consecutive season and an NFC East title. He finished as the runner up for the MVP award, behind Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson who won the award for the second time of his career.

Despite an excellent regular season, Prescott and the Cowboys laid an egg in the wild card round of the playoffs, losing to the Green Bay Packers 48-32. Prescott underperformed, throwing two interceptions, with one being returned for a touchdown.

The talk of the offseason for the Cowboys has been Prescott’s future with the team. His contract expires after this upcoming season, and would receive massive interest from teams if he were to hit free agency next offseason. Despite the Jones family reiterating their support for Prescott as their quarterback of the future, it is currently the month of May and the Cowboys have yet to agree to an extension with him. It’s possible the team and Prescott are prepared to play out the final year of his contract before signing another extension.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys front office choices this offseason have put more pressure on Prescott to perform. The team lost long-time LT Tyron Smith in free agency to the New York Jets. While the Tyler Guyton first-round selection in the NFL Draft addresses this, it is hard to imagine Guyton will be as reliable protecting Prescott’s blindside in 2024 than Smith was last season. The team lost starting C Tyler Biadasz in free agency to the Washington Commanders. The team addressed this by drafting G Cooper Beebe in the third round of the draft. However, Beebe played a majority of his snaps at the guard position in college so there will be an adjustment period. The team lost RB Tony Pollard to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Part of their solution was to reunite with RB Ezekiel Elliott. In 2023 Elliott averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry with the New England Patriots.

The Cowboys did not add any free agent wide receivers after releasing WR Michael Gallup. The team also did not draft one until they selected Ryan Flournoy with the 216th overall pick in the draft.

Prescott and head coach Mike McCarthy are both entering high-pressure seasons in the final year of their contracts with the team, unless Prescott strikes a deal during training camp. Meanwhile they will be starting a rookie at left tackle and center, playing a running back has seen his production decline in recent seasons, and will likely be starting either Jalen Tolbert, Jalen Brooks, or Ryan Flournoy at their third wide receiver spot.

It would be fair for the front office to want to see more playoff success from Prescott before making him the highest-paid QB in the NFL, however it is hard to expect him to do that with less talent around him. It will be interesting to see if the team signs any more veterans or makes a trade before the start of the season, because as of now their roster appears weaker than last season.


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