First-year Dallas coach Mike McCarthy has seen franchise quarterback Dak Prescott up close this month and early returns are positive. The offensive guru tasked with getting the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl said this week that it’s been an adjustment period for all on offense ahead of the 2020 season following an unprecedented offseason and no real interaction with his players.
Retaining Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator eased in the adjustment period, but McCarthy says there remains a learning curve happening before games are played.
“I think Dak has done a great job with the time away, really the whole group, with the addition of Andy Dalton,” McCarthy said during this week’s Cowboys media video conference. “I really like the quarterback room and diversity we’ve got there with Dak, Andy and the two young guys. Most importantly, we’ve got three former quarterbacks coaching that group. I think the biggest adjustment for Dak has been the language, which has been an adjustment for all of us.
“But he’s looked very good in the throwing segments of the strength and conditioning phase that we’re we in now and I’m very impressed.”
McCarthy said Prescott has been business as usual around the team despite not agreeing to terms on a long-term extension this summer. Prescott will play under the franchise tag this fall in the final year of his rookie deal and will be paid $31.4 million.
“With us being around each other for the first time, I’ve really enjoyed his personality … he’s very upbeat and very driven,” McCarthy said. “I would say he’s kind of picked up where he’s left off based on what I’ve been told about him and how he operates. He’s very detailed in his preparation and is a lot of fun to be around.”
A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Prescott has far surpassed the expectations that were placed on him when he entered the NFL and is coming off the best individual campaign of his career. The two-time Pro Bowler threw for career-highs in yards (4,902) and touchdowns (30) last season.
Prescott was reportedly offered an annual contract around $34 million with the Cowboys including $110 million guaranteed, but declined. The biggest holdup for months in the Prescott negotiations looks like it was too big for either side to give in on.
Multiple reports indicated that the Cowboys wanted to sign Prescott to a five-year deal, while Prescott was adamant it be a four-year deal so he can re-negotiate his contract sooner. He said last month he’s excited about the future in Dallas and intends on playing for the Cowboys a long time.
“I’m a Cowboy and couldn’t be happier,” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports. “I look forward to working along Coach (Mike) McCarthy, the staff, and my teammates to be the best team we can be in pursuit to our goal of a Super Bowl.”
247Sports analyst Riley Gates contributed to this story.