Gelb: Steelers, Saints Could Make Sense For Dak In 2022

If Dak Prescott does not sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys, he could eventually find a home with the Steelers or Saints, Zach Gelb says

Zach Gelb
July 15, 2020 - 8:47 am

The Dallas Cowboys have until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to reach a long-term contract with Dak Prescott. If they do not, Prescott will play the 2020 season under the franchise tag, and both sides can renegotiate in January 2021.

That, however, could quickly become the slipperiest of slopes.

“If he is playing on the franchise tag for this upcoming season, what happens a year from now?” Zach Gelb asked on The Zach Gelb Show. “In the next offseason, are they going to get a long-term deal done, or are they going to have to franchise tag him again, slap him with the tag for the second year in a row, and will negotiations still be so intense? The fight still could possibly remain that Dak wants a four-year deal and the Cowboys want a five-year deal. Maybe the bickering continues and Dak comes out and says, ‘I’ve been slapped with the franchise tag twice. Maybe it’s best [for me] to eventually move on from the Dallas Cowboys.’ Maybe we do get to that point.”

The Cowboys would be wise to not let negotiations reach that point.

“Even if they don’t reach an extension [Wednesday], it does not mean to me that the Dak Prescott era in Dallas is necessarily over,” Gelb said. “What it means to me is that Dak is going to bet on himself once again. It didn’t hurt himself last year. I have a tough time seeing that it’s going to hurt himself this year. The only way that it could hurt himself is maybe because of injury, and then who knows where it goes from there?”

Let’s assume that Prescott plays the next two seasons under the franchise tag. He would be 29 when the 2022 season begins – and he could be playing for a different team. Gelb believes that two franchises, in particular, would make a lot of sense. 

The first? The Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Think about it,” Gelb said. “Ben is going to play this year, Ben may play the year after that, and then Ben may be retiring and getting ready to get his gold jacket fitted for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Can you imagine if you’re the Pittsburgh Steelers going from Big Ben Roethlisberger [to] Dak Prescott?”

Prescott would be a better option than Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, no doubt. He would also have a major chip on his shoulder by that point.

“[Dak] still has something to prove,” Gelb said. “Dak still needs to show me, even though he’s had a successful career being a fourth-round draft pick, taking that team to the playoffs twice – he’s a good player. He needs to now show me that he can be a great player. If you’re Pittsburgh, though, Dak could be a very attractive option for you in trying to replace Ben.”

The other attractive destination? The New Orleans Saints.

“Right now, next year, if I had to take a guess who will be the quarterback for the Saints, it’s probably Jameis Winston,” Gelb said. “I do believe this is Drew Brees’ final season. They could go with Taysom Hill. I would much rather have Jameis Winston than Taysom Hill in trying to replace Drew Brees.”

But what if Winston regresses or remains a turnover machine? The Saints would likely be in the market for a quarterback.

“Can you imagine Dak Prescott in a Saints uniform?” Gelb asked. “We’re not there yet. I don’t think a divorce is imminent. I don’t even think a divorce is likely at this point. But where we are now, I would have thought they would have got a deal done. As we get set for the deadline, it appears that they’re not going to get a deal done – and if we’re in this dance again next year and it’s a franchise tag again and they don’t get a long-term deal done, then there’s going to be a lot of conversation about Dak Prescott playing football elsewhere. Two teams that I think of all these years down the road, it’s the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers with two older quarterbacks right now.”