How can the Cowboys get past the ‘Dak Dilemma’?

As the Dallas Cowboys quarterback puts together a season that has him in the race for NFL MVP, Yahoo Sports’ Jason Fitz takes a look at the team’s dilemma in having to pay their signal caller - and keep the other stars on the team happy as well.

Video Transcript


JASON FITZ: As Charles Robinson has smartly pointed out, this year's MVP-caliber season for Dak Prescott creates a double-edged sword for the Cowboys. Certainly, they want to find a way to keep their quarterback, that's natural, but how do you keep your quarterback and everyone else? In fact, if you look at the data, and I have, over the course of the last 15 years, there's no real empirical data that says you can't pay your quarterback.

Despite the narrative that we constantly show, the reality of it is, if you look at the splits of quarterbacks that have made the playoffs and the Super Bowl over the last 15 years, it's about 50/50 on guys that are on rookie contracts or not on rookie contracts. In fact, it's also about 50/50 on guys that count 10% or more of the salary cap versus guys that don't. So what can we take away from this?

Well, realistically, what we can take away is you can never, at any position, have the highest paid player. If you look at the data, there's only been one player, Rob Gronkowski, that's ever won a Super Bowl in the year that he was the highest paid at his position. That's where the dilemma comes in for the Cowboys, because this isn't just about paying Dak, this is about everybody else.

Parsons is in line to get paid. Diggs is in line to get paid. The Cowboys dilemma right now is created because, frankly, they've drafted incredibly well for several years. And as a result, they've stacked their roster.

Now they have to choose to pay those guys. But that's the other important part of the conversation. When you look at the dominance of teams like the Chiefs, it is in part because they've found a way to continually draft the right way. At some point, what the Cowboys are going to have to do is trust that letting supreme talent walk away is OK, as long as you continue to draft supreme talent to replace the guys that are no longer in the building. It's easier said than done.

But remember, the very reason they're in this dilemma is because of the good that they've done during the draft year in and year out. If that doesn't continue, it doesn't matter what they pay Dak Prescott. They won't be able to continue to be a Super Bowl-caliber team.