"Dak is the keystone of this team," McCarthy told reporters. "I'm excited about year two on offense. In a lot of ways, we didn't feel like we got to have a year one."
"His presence and natural leadership ability is something that will continue to grow," McCarthy said. "You'll see that in the locker room."
Dallas was just 6-10 in McCarthy's first year, but Prescott's compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle were the primary reasons for the struggles.
He appeared in just five games, and John Keim of ESPN noted the Cowboys were first in yards per game and third in points with Prescott under center and 27th in yards and 23rd in points without him last year.
It comes as no surprise the team was so effective with Prescott, considering he already has two Pro Bowl appearances and an Offensive Rookie of the Year through five years.
He threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2019, marking the fourth straight year he finished with more than 3,300 passing yards.
While it was fair to wonder about Prescott's long-term health following such a serious injury, the Cowboys signed him to a four-year, $160 million extension this offseason and ensured he will be the quarterback of the future.
McCarthy is clearly happy with that decision.