Mike & Peter break down Prescotts’ recovery and if he’ll remain a Cowboy.
PETER KING: Mike, I think he will. I think there's two things to keep an eye on here in the next, I'd say, week or so. Number 1, is there any infection that sets in the same way it did with Alex Smith that led to all the 18 surgeries for Alex Smith and now one of the great comebacks in NFL history? And let's just assume, optimistically, that there are no complications, that there are no infections. You wouldn't think they would have sent him home from the hospital if there was a chance for an infection, but we'll see.
So let's just assume that this is, as been reported, somewhere between a four- and eight-month recovery period with obviously a very, very important bone to a quarterback who's got to move around a lot and who's got to set his feet and throw the football. So what we're going to assume, Mike, is that he's going to be OK for opening day 2021.
And if that is the case, I think there's a factor at play that nobody really considers. And that is the outpouring of love and affection and deep respect for Dak Prescott, not just from the 52 other guys in his locker room or his coaching staff. I've been stunned to see everybody around the league and other sports, you know, all over Dallas, everything is, oh, man, we feel for you. This is awful. This is terrible. I've never seen a more empathetic response to an injury, Mike, in a long time than I've seen toward Dak Prescott.
And so I think the Cowboys realize this. They know what an asset Dak Prescott is to their franchise as a leader and a player. And Mike, I believe that even if they don't get a contract done, they will re-up him in a bad situation for them cap-wise, with the cap going down to $175 million next year, they will re-up him even if it takes them $37 million.
MIKE FLORIO: Yeah, and that's the key. They have until late February to do a long-term deal. They can negotiate it now. They just can't sign until after the season ends. But if they can't work it out, the ultimate leverage for Dak is to say, franchise tag me again. I'm guaranteed $37.68 million next year regardless of where the cap goes. And as you said, it will be likely as low as $175 million.
And the alternative-- let the market determine my value. And Peter, I've looked around at the teams, and you project forward who's going to be looking for quarterbacks. And we don't even need to go any farther than the NFC East because if the Giants and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, if Washington, if maybe even Philadelphia would get a crack at Dak Prescott, they would crack open the vault and possibly offer more than the Cowboys. That's all the more reason for the Cowboys to make sure that never happens. If it takes 37.68, if there's no guarantee he's going to be healthy for week 1, we just have to do it.