FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott isn’t shying away from high expectations.
Asked Wednesday about potentially locking down a mega-contract after 2018, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback talked about bigger things than money.
“I want to be the best I can,” Prescott told reporters at the Cowboys’ Reliant Home Run Derby to benefit the Salvation Army at Dr Pepper Ballpark. “I want to be the best quarterback that the Cowboys ever had. So when I go in each and every day, it’s just about being the best player I can be. All that stuff comes when you play the game well.”
The Cowboys have had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman combine to win five Super Bowls. Don Meredith is in the team’s Ring of Honor. Danny White went to three straight NFC Championship Games after replacing Staubach. The quarterback who Prescott replaced, Tony Romo, is the franchise leader in passing yards and touchdown passes.
Prescott has won 22 of his first 32 regular-season starts, but the Cowboys missed the playoffs in 2017 with a 9-7 record. After throwing 23 touchdown passes to just 4 interceptions in 2016, Prescott had 22 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions in 2017.
The Cowboys will remake their passing attack this offseason with the retirement of Jason Witten and the release of Dez Bryant.
Last week, executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team has projected its future budgets with Prescott, who is set to make $630,000 this season, under a big contract. Per league rules, the Cowboys can’t have discussions on a new deal until after the season since Prescott, a fourth-round pick in 2016, is on his rookie contract.
While Prescott hopes to be the best quarterback the Cowboys have ever had, Jones eyes a big season for Prescott.
“At that position, it kind of is what it is,” Jones said last week. “When the time comes, I know Dak’s going to have a great year this year, and I hope it’s up there. It’s going to be as he deserves. He was a fourth-round pick. No one deserves to get paid fairly more than he does. And y’all see what some of the other guys are who aren’t Aaron Rodgers, who aren’t Matt Ryan [get paid], so he’s going to do well. We certainly know that’s going to happen, and we’ve got that planned in our budgeting for the salary cap, and I just want Dak to go out and be MVP this year of the NFL. That’s what I want. Then we’ll deal with that [contract].”
Prescott’s coach, Jason Garrett, is glad he is not thinking about the payday.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for anybody to ever think about their contract when they’re playing,” Garrett said. “You want to approach the game as a professional and strive to be your best every day. That’s what we try to instill in our guys regardless of what the business side of football is. You really don’t have to tell Dak that. That’s what he’s all about. That’s part of how he approaches it every day since the minute he got here.”