It’s that time of the year again and the hype for the Super Bowl is building per usual. But this time it’s different and an historic game for several reasons. We have Tom Brady, six-time super bowl champion, playing in his 40s against Patrick Mahomes who signed the largest QB deal in NFL history and also widely regarded to be the best quarter back right now. It’s also a rare event to have the previous two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks meeting in the Super Bowl. That said, the value of the quarterback position in the NFL is as high as it’s ever been and Dak’s future in Dallas still remains unclear.
It’s extremely difficult to find a franchise QB and if you don’t lock up a proven commodity, the quarterback carrousel can be a painful ride that usually seems to last too long. A draft miss at QB can set you back 3-4 years, sometimes more. The last time the Cowboys were in that rut was after the 2000 season when Troy Aikman retired. Those were a long five seasons and the QB carrousel consisted of half a dozen QBs, none of which had any notable success as a Cowboy. The bottom line is that it’s easier said than done to find a franchise QB and we were just flat out lucky when Dak fell in Dallas’ lap as a fourth round compensatory pick.
And in looking back at the 2016 draft, a draft that had QBs picked at No. 1 and No. 2 overall, Dak is the only QB drafted who hasn’t been traded, benched, or washed out of the NFL altogether. The No. 1 QB in that draft was Jared Goff who the Rams just traded to the Lions for Matt Stafford (also a No. 1 pick) in a mega deal which involved the Rams giving up two first round picks to slightly upgrade the QB position. It shows that getting “your guy” is extremely expensive and the market value for Dak has just been reset once again. It happened when Russel Wilson, Carson Wentz and Goff were signed in 2019, and again when Deshaun Watson was signed by the Texans for $39 million per year in 2020. The price tag keeps going up and Dak is holding the line.
The other issue that the Cowboys face is that we have a lot of holes on the roster, particularly on defense – we aren’t in a “win now” mode like the Rams are and can’t afford to potentially waste picks on a QB who, in all probability, won’t pan out. Less than half of first round QBs eclipse 4000 yards or throw for 25+ TDs a single time in their career. Dak did that easily in 2019 and was on pace for 6,000 yards and 30 TD, the former of which would have broken Peyton Manning’s single season record by 500-plus yards. It’s also worth noting that QBs are playing a lot longer now than they used to, particularly the good ones. The average age of the starting QBs in the AFC and NFC Championship games was just under 37 years old.
You can argue all you want about how much cap space the QB position is worth, but the data is the data and those numbers clearly support locking up Dak to a long term deal. He’s an exceptional talent, a great locker room guy, a fan favorite, and someone you can build a team around.
Your move, Jerry Jones. Please don’t mess this one up.