Cowboys Will Torpedo Their Entire Future if They Offer Russell Wilson Money to Dak Prescott

If the Cowboys make Dak Prescott one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, they'll be making a mistake.
If the Cowboys make Dak Prescott one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, they'll be making a mistake. / Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have entered a stage that many teams fear, as they need to pay their signal-caller and they're running out of time. Dallas had benefitted from selecting quarterback Dak Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and watching him succed, allowing them to build a solid team around him while he got paid modestly on his rookie deal. But now, for better or for worse, Prescott is due major money.

Reports on Tuesday indicate that the Cowboys' latest offer is greater than the contract given to Jared Goff by the Los Angeles Rams -- based on cold, hard math, that means Prescott will end up getting an amount close to or even equal to what the Seattle Seahawks paid quarterback Russell Wilson last year.

Let's be clear: if the Cowboys do offer Prescott an amount that high -- $35 million per year -- they'll be financially sunk for the foreseeable future.

Folks, few players in the league are worth the MVP-level money Wilson gets paid. It must be said that Dak is simply not one of them.

Prescott reportedly sought out a $40 million annual salary in his new deal, and turned down a $33 million annual salary back in September. Now, the Cowboys are stuck trying to reach a deal with the QB, and as a result, they're handcuffed.

Dallas has had cap issues for the past two years, as owner Jerry Jones had to find a way to sign Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence, Byron Jones, and Amari Cooper to extensions. The Cowboys paid Elliott and Lawrence big bucks, but that left them with big questions entering the new league year, especially regarding Cooper and Prescott.

Dallas already ruled out a deal with Jones, who's going to command big money on the open market, possibly even from their NFC East rivals. That's a huge loss as it is, but then again, they have to worry about locking in Cooper. Despite his desire to be a Cowboy for life, he likely won't come cheap. Cooper will likely seek an average annual salary equal to Julio Jones' $22 million; if Dallas won't pay that, someone else will.

The Cowboys won't only have to worry about losing out on the aforementioned players, but young stars still on their rookie deals. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will definitely earn big money once he hits free agency in 2023. Oh, and if receiver Michael Gallup continues playing at his current pace, he'll be highly coveted on the open market in 2022 coming off his own rookie deal.

This is a nightmare for any NFL team. The ideal scenario is to draft a quarterback and build a team around him with the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. Dallas couldn't do that with Prescott under center. Even with his strong statistics in his rookie year and again in 2019, he's proven unable to single-handedly put the Cowboys on his back and engineer major wins.

With that in mind, him a contract that's equivalent to his Seahawks counterpart -- a perennial MVP candidate who has a Super Bowl ring -- will leave the Cowboys franchise cap-strapped for the full duration of his new contract. It's possible that franchise-tagging Prescott and trading him, as zany as that would feel, could end up being the lesser of two evils.