AFC Exec on Dak Prescott: 'Certainly Not Top 5 and Marginal Top 10' Among QBs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2020

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

An anonymous AFC executive questioned whether the Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott should be considered among the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. 

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler polled over 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players, who combined to rank Prescott as the ninth-best QB heading into the 2020 season.

"He'll get paid as one of the best, but he's certainly not top five and marginal top 10," the AFC exec said in an article released Wednesday. "That great rookie season set the stage for him to hit another level that he never really was going to hit. The bar got set high, and I don't know if he can reach it. Hasn't thrown it as well since [2016]."

Prescott has completed 65.8 percent of his throws for 15,778 yards with 97 touchdowns and 36 interceptions while appearing in all 64 of the Cowboys' regular-season games since they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft.

The 26-year-old Mississippi State product has added 1,221 rushing yards and 21 scores on the ground over the past four years. He's tied for second with Drew Brees among quarterbacks in approximate value during that span, per Pro Football Reference.

He's also led Dallas to the playoffs in two of the past three years with a total record of 40-24 during his time leading the offense.

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"The evolution of him is great," an AFC assistant coach told Fowler. "People said coming out he wasn't the most gifted rhythmic passer on timing, but he's really grown in that building. He's a pure pocket guy now with the ability to win with athleticism, and a lot of quarterbacks out there are not."

Debate about Prescott's true value comes as he seeks a long-term contract extension. He received the franchise tag from the Cowboys in March, which is worth $31.4 million for 2020, per Spotrac.

His value may be on the rise again after the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes signed a record-setting 10-year, $450 million extension with incentives and bonuses that could push its total value over $500 million to reset the already lucrative quarterback market.

In May, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the NFL Network he was bullish about the team's future with Prescott leading the offense.

"I think when I look at the career that Dak has had with the Cowboys, it gives me a really solid feeling about what's in store for us in the future. We've got to do everything we can—and that's what we're doing in this offseason—to put the players on the Cowboys that are players that can—with his talent as quarterback—really win championships or have a shot at it. That's the thing I think about when I think of where we are and how we are with Dak."

Dallas heads into the 2020 campaign with the sixth-best Super Bowl odds at 13-1 and Prescott ranks third in the MVP betting lines at 9-1, according to Caesars Palace.

A championship is the one thing that could bring universal agreement about his status as one of the sport's best signal-callers.

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