McCarthy: Dak Prescott can be championship-level QB

INDIANAPOLIS — Offseason questions hover over Dallas like a raincloud ready to burst.

The biggest questions sit with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. The Cowboys could lose one of their key players, but it shouldn’t be the quarterback.

New coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine he views Prescott as the team’s franchise signal-caller and isn’t concerned that a long-term deal will get done.

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"Dak Prescott, definitely (is our franchise quarterback)," McCarthy said. "It’s exactly where we want to be with Dak. What he’s done to this point speaks to itself. Really, Dak is in a business situation right now — I’ve gone through this as a coach with a number of my players in the past. I think like anything, it’s just time to be patient and let the business people work out the business matter. And that’s really where we are as an organization. And that’s where Dak is in his personal fight to get a contract done."

McCarthy noted that he’s been in touch with Prescott over the phone recently but is still waiting for the business situation to play out.

Depending on how the collective bargaining agreement situation unfolds, Dallas might only have the option to tag one of their big-name free agents. If that’s Prescott, it could result in the quarterback sitting out offseason workouts until a long-term solution is reached.

The potential of the QB missing the beginning of installs isn’t something McCarthy is worried about yet.

"The hypotheticals, really it’s not really anything I’ve spent much time thinking about," he said. "We’ll just take it one day at a time, and it’s a business matter. Obviously, all the things that are involved in that are for Jerry (Jones), Stephen (Jones), and Dak’s representatives."

In four seasons, Prescott has been among the biggest bargains in sports. A starting quarterback making peanuts compared to his worth. The Cowboys know it’s time the fourth-round pick gets paid.

Despite throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and tossing 30 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 2019, there is a perception among some Cowboys fans that paying Prescott the going rate for a QB of his caliber would be a mistake.

McCarthy, having seen Prescott in person in the playoffs, believes the 26-year-old signal-caller can get the Cowboys over the hump finally.

"I think, No. 1, you just look at what he’s done in his time in the league," McCarthy said of Prescott. "I think he’s been impressive. I’ve been impressed with him since the first time I saw him play live up in Green Bay when they came to Lambeau. I think first impressions are very important when you see quarterbacks on the field because in-person evaluations, particularly at that position, have always carried more weight as far as how I felt about a player. So, I think he’s got off to a great start. He’s built a really good foundation. I’m told he’s a tremendous leader. In my philosophy, as we get with the personnel department, as we go through that, defenses get you to the championship, and quarterback’s win championships. And I definitively feel Dak is that quarterback."

Now the Cowboys must find common ground to pay Prescott to a level consummate with that championship capability.

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