Finding Denver Broncos gets hard when we stop looking at the entire picture, so enter free agent Pro-Bowl Quarterback Dak Prescott.
Dak Prescott remains an undiscussed option for the Broncos because there is an assumption he will be retained by the Dallas Cowboys.
Prescott could be franchised tagged by the Dallas Cowboys. However, the Cowboys may feel their money could be spent elsewhere.
Why the Dallas Cowboys would move on from Dak Prescott
The Cowboys may choose to move on from Prescott for a few reasons, in addition to the fact that he suffered a bad injury this past season.
First, the Cowboys’ lack of success. The Cowboys have only won one playoff game with Prescott at the helm. Jerry Jones may feel that Prescott just is not the right guy for the Cowboys, and use his deep pockets to look elsewhere.
With notable free agents hitting the market along with stars like Watson and Stafford, Jones may feel there are other options that move his team into the desired direction.
Second, hard feelings. There could be some hurt feelings within the negotiation process between the two parties, Prescott’s representation, and the Cowboys brass. Prescott played on a 4th-round pick’s contract for the entire four-year deal. He could be holding a grudge as the team could have provided some financial reward for a guy who played much better than his draft position.
On the Cowboys’ end, Prescott has drawn-out contract talks waiting for other players like Watson and Patrick Mahomes to drive up the marker (smart on his part, by the way). Jones has an ego and may simply feel that he has been generous enough and Prescott is not operating in good faith (in his opinion).
Third, dollars and cents. The Cowboys, per Spotrac.com, have $17,765,761 in projected salary-cap space. The team can move on from some veterans to free up some space, but as of now they have a lot of holes on their roster and could struggle to fit in Prescott’s presumably large contract.
Using Spotrac’s projection, Prescott is in line to sign a deal that looks like this:
4 yrs, $147,288,320
Avg. Salary: $36,822,080
Now, his average salary isn’t all a cap hit, however, depending on what Prescott’s demands are, there could be a significant cap hit in year one or year two, which may be a deterrent for the Cowboys.
Fourth, all of the previous factors lead them to a draft pick they love. The Cowboys have always been aggressive in getting their guy. They will make a move if need be and could be primed to move up in the draft to get a premier quarterback talent such as Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, or a player compared to Prescott often, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
The Cowboys may believe that they are not ready to compete with the NFC powerhouses and begin an organizational reset with a younger and cheaper option.
Why would the Denver Broncos be a fit?
The Denver Broncos could be a very good fit for Dak Prescott for several reasons.
First, Pat Shurmur is familiar with Prescott from his time with the Giants. Pat Shurmur’s scouting of Prescott while in the NFC East may provide the club with some insight into how his skill set can be used within the offense.
From Prescott’s end, he has seen Shurmur’s commitment to a three wide receiver base and desire to throw the ball early and often. Prescott could feel that this type of offensive structure could amplify his talent as a passer.
Prescott has put up tremendous numbers during his time in the NFL. Prescott has averaged nearly 300 yards passing and almost two touchdowns and less than one interception a game over the last three seasons. It is safe to say the 28-year-old quarterback has several years left of elite-level quarterbacking.
Second, the supporting cast on offense. It would be safe to argue that the Denver Broncos have the best supporting cast he could ask for. Watching the decline in the health of the Cowboys’ offensive line along with the ineffectiveness of running back Ezekiel Elliot, Prescott may feel their offense is on a downward trend.
The Broncos have a phenomenal set of young receivers, highlighted by Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and K.J. Hamler. Additionally, the team has tight end Noah Fant, who would be the best tight end Prescott has played with since his rookie-season-version of Jason Witten. That quartet of receivers rivals any throughout the league.
If you add the ascending offensive line including Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry III, and Graham Glasgow, the team seems to have a good group for years to come.
With Melvin Gordon in the backfield, the Broncos have a young group that could be together for quite some time. Prescott should feel pretty confident in the team’s trajectory as there are several young cornerstone players on this roster.
Third, Vic Fangio’s ability to coach defense. Dak Prescott’s most successful season with the Cowboys came with a solid defensive effort. The Broncos are consistently ranked at the top of the league defensively. It could be safe to assume General Manager George Paton also shares this focus as he helped build some great defenses with the Minnesota Vikings.
If Prescott came to the Broncos, he would have the best defensive coach he has ever had on his staff. The ability for the defense holding up their end of the bargain, Prescott may just give him a chance at really showing the league how good he can be in the playoffs.
Lastly, it would not take a trade to get him. Prescott’s free agency provides the Broncos an opportunity to grab an elite talent, and overall upgrade, without parting ways with any of their draft capital or young talent.
The packages being thrown around for Watson and Stafford at least call for the Broncos number 9 overall selection. In the case of Watson, the Broncos would likely need to send several first-round selections along with multiple day-two picks and maybe a young player or two.
Bringing in Prescott allows the Broncos to add to their defense and offensive line through the draft, strengthening the team’s ability to challenge the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Cheifs in 2021 and beyond.
The Broncos have over 18,550,052 in cap space, before addressing cap casualty candidates Jurrell Casey, Kareem Jackson, and A.J. Bouye, providing the team with over 46,000,000 in projected cap space. The team can easily fit him in with those moves and continue to address other needs.
In the end, do not go to sleep on Prescott’s availability. Most of Broncos Country is focused on the shiny new toy in Stafford and Watson, but a realistic option could very well be a player who we are not really talking about.