Mike McCarthy told the media that the No. 1 priority for the Dallas Cowboys‘ offseason is solidifying the defense. That is, of course, after the team finally reached a deal with star quarterback Dak Prescott.
After one of the most long, drawn-out negotiations in recent NFL history, and a season on the franchise tag, Prescott basically got everything he wanted. He signed a four-year deal, rather than the Cowboys’ preference of five or six, for up to $164 million and with $126 million guaranteed. He received $66 million as a signing bonus.
Team owner Jerry Jones basically admitted that Prescott had him over a barrel in negotiations, and that he probably had to overpay to keep the quarterback. For Mike McCarthy, it was welcome news. The team was struggling for various reasons before Prescott went down for the season with injury, but the quarterback was putting up historic numbers early in the year. He was on vacation in Florida when the news came down, and joked that it made him want to do cartwheels on the beach.
“It’s a lot easier to do cartwheels on the sand, I’ll say that,” McCarthy told the media Thursday, per ESPN. “Obviously I was very excited.”
Mike McCarthy says he was in Florida when the Dak deal got done. Spring break with his kids. Was “doing cartwheels in the sand” said he just saw him come off the field from a workout en route to press conference
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) March 25, 2021
“Dak is the keystone of this team,” McCarthy continued. “I’m excited about year two on offense. In a lot of ways, we didn’t feel like we got to have a year one.”
The Cowboys offense was first in yardage and third in scoring when Dak Prescott went down with a compound ankle fracture. After his departure, the talented unit cratered, ranking 27th in total offense and 23rd in scoring offense with guys like Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, and Garrett Gilbert under center.
Of course, even with the gaudy offensive numbers he put up, the Dallas Cowboys were just 2-3 in Prescott starts last year, due in large part to a defense that fell apart in the team’s first year under Mike McCarthy and then-defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. With Prescott locked in, attention turns towards fixing that side of the ball.
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