One fun scenario going around with Dallas Cowboys followers is the notion the club can sign quarterback Dak Prescott and then trade him away for premium draft picks.
Is it possible? Technically speaking, it is, but it is highly unlikely.
The optimal time to have dealt Prescott would have been in the 2019 offseason or in the 2018 offseason or regular season. Typically, teams make trades for players that are in the penultimate or final year of their contract.
If you recall, that is what the Cowboys did with receiver Amari Cooper in 2018, who was in the second-to-last year of his rookie contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Typically, it isn't the team who dealt the player away signing the extension anyway. As in the case of receiver Roy Williams in 2008, the Cowboys extended the former Texas Longhorn after the midseason exchange with the Detroit Lions.
Just as Prescott has considerable power when it comes to even agreeing on an extension, the two-time Pro Bowler also has even more power when it comes to deciding where he wants to continue his NFL career.
Prescott is set to become a free agent on March 18 at 3:00 p.m. when the new league year begins. The Cowboys can't trade him if he is no longer technically a Cowboy.
In order to deal Prescott, Dallas would have to get him to agree to sign a contract that would send him to a struggling team far from being a contender like he had been in Dallas for the first four seasons of his career.
There is an off chance, as it could with any person on the planet, that the idea of getting upwards of $40 million a year entices him to go to a team in the top five of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft that doesn't already have a franchise quarterback — chiefly Cincinnati and Miami.
If Prescott doesn't want to go there as a free agent, he isn't going to sign a contract to help Dallas get his replacement in the first round.
That leaves the franchise tag as an option, but Prescott would still have the trump card if Dallas deployed that method. Even if Prescott were franchise tagged, if he doesn't sign the offer sheet, then he can't be traded.
Enter the Houston Texans and Jadeveon Clowney last offseason. The Texans wanted to trade Clowney to Miami for draft picks in the preseason after the Pro Bowl edge rusher missed all of the club's offseason workouts, training camp and preseason games to that point.
However, Clowney saw the whole scope of what going to an AFC East club with a rookie coach destined to fail would entail.
"They said, 'It'll be good for you, and good for us,'" Clowney told Mike Silver of NFL.com. "I'm like, 'Good for me? They're gonna tank the season for a damn quarterback! Find me a team that can win, and I'll sign the damn tender.'"
In the same vein, if Prescott doesn't believe that he can turn Miami or Cincinnati into an immediate contender, and he will be caught in the tailspin, he isn't going to sign.
Real life NFL front office management isn't like Madden where you can throw a big enough contract at a player and get them to sign and deal them for picks.
Prescott is a competitor, and he knows his best chance to win a Super Bowl under the current rules of where he can play is in Dallas with new coach Mike McCarthy and teammates like running back Ezekiel Elliott, center Travis Frederick, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and linebacker Jaylon Smith.
Prescott also grew up a Cowboys fan. His goal was to win a Super Bowl for Dallas. He has accomplished most of his goals to reach the level he is at, and it isn't likely he would be the ultimate, ultimate team player and throw away the prime of his career just so the Cowboys can have a mini-Herschel Walker trade.
Why would Prescott consent to being Craig Morton when he still has a chance to be Roger Staubach?
Would you trade Dak Prescott if the opportunity presented itself? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.
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