Mac Engel

Dak Prescott should follow Tony Romo’s path to be NFL’s highest paid QB

‘We don’t do nothin’ but win.’ Cowboys fans hyped for 2019 season

The Dallas Cowboys take on the New York Giants for their home opener on Saturday, September 8, 2019. Cowboy fans were tailgating early, predicting a winning season for their team.
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The Dallas Cowboys take on the New York Giants for their home opener on Saturday, September 8, 2019. Cowboy fans were tailgating early, predicting a winning season for their team.

The Cowboys were comfortable making running back Ezekiel Elliott the highest paid at his position, so Dak Prescott should only enjoy the same treatment.

The best way for Dak to get the Zeke treatment is to go the Tony Romo route and simply wait a few more weeks. Maybe one more month.

When asked after the Cowboys’ 35-17 win over the New York Giants in the season opener if Dak’s price tag just went up, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones laughed and said, “No comment.”

No comment as in, “Hope not.”

“With our offer, I promise you ... I hope he’s a good quarterback,” Jones said. “We think so much of him. Things work out in due time. It’s great that we have him as a Dallas Cowboy.”

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Jones said a deal with Dak is “imminent.”

It only serves the Cowboys’ best interests for them to sign Dak immediately, while he’s still “cheap.” By now, however, we know Jerry does not care about saving money on players if it means his toy wins him a Super Bowl.

When he personally led the NFL to adopt a salary cap many moons ago, it ensured that even if he “loses” a contract negotiation, he still wins in a blowout.

If Dak plays this right, he can be the highest paid quarterback in the NFL.

For those of you wondering, the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL right now. He signed a four-year, $140 million contract, which included a $65 million bonus.

THE REASON DAK SHOULD WAIT

Playing on a fourth round rookie contract, Dak is currently the best deal in the NFL. He should not sign any contract offer from Jerry and the Cowboys any time soon. All Dak is doing is costing himself money.

If Sunday is any indication of the 2019 NFL season (which often times it’s not) Dak should bet on himself and wait until the week of Oct. 21 - 27. Dak should push to be the highest paid quarterback in the NFL.

He should follow his predecessor in this regards.

Back in 2007, Tony Romo was in discussions with the Cowboys for an extension. His resume, at that point, was not as long as Dak’s, but the overall concept was the same: The longer Romo played well into the season, his price tag increased.

On October 30, 2007, with the Cowboys at 6-1 during its bye week, and Romo playing well, he agreed to a six-year, $67.5 million contract. By waiting, he secured a bigger deal.

The Cowboys’ bye week this year? After it’s seventh game.

Stephen Jones said the are no comparisons between the two negotiations.

“Every negotiation is separate. He’s selfless,” Stephen Jones said. “We want to work toward getting this done.”

DAK CRUSHED THE NEW YORK GIANTS

Every word written or spoken, and every statistic, from the Cowboys’ season opener should be prefaced with the fact that they played the Giants.

In the first game of his fourth year in the NFL, Dak played the best game of his career.

By halftime, Dak had passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns. At the end of three quarters, he was up to 393 yards and four touchdowns. Those are franchise records for a season-opener by a starting quarterback.

After three quarters.

Dak has had one better statistical performance in his career, but Sunday’s opener was the best he has played as a pro.

Throughout training camp Cowboys coaches were adamant that Dak had improved with his mechanics and his “overall command.”

Nothing he did in the fake games of August was going to serve as proof. What he did against the Giants was nearly perfect.

Other than one or two throws, Dak cut up the Giants much like a Troy Aikman or Romo did in the prime of their careers. And Dak didn’t need to make plays by running, rather he simply did it by throwing.

Dak hit deep passes to second-year receiver Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin, Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. In all, seven different receivers caught Dak’s passes.

Even old man Jason Witten caught three in his return from retirement, including a touchdown.

Now, why Dak was in the game deep into the fourth quarter rather than backup Cooper Rush is on head coach Jason Garrett, who too often acts as if his quarterback is constructed of copper. Rush finally came into the game with just under three minutes remaining.

By that point, Dak was where he should have been 15 minutes earlier, with his butt on the bench.

Jerry says a deal with his franchise quarterback is imminent when it does not have to be so.

Dak, give it another game or two or five.

Playing the way you are, and you will the highest paid player in NFL history.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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