2020 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys tag and trade Dak Prescott to Dolphins in outside-the-box first round

Free agency is close to starting. We’re fresh out of the combine. This is the time for wild conjecture and rampant speculation. Also, I annually do a veteran quarterback trade in my mock draft, one that actually kind of makes some sense, or at least creates some kind of thought exercise, and I annually do it around the combine.

The time has arrived to trade Dak Prescott.

Why not? The Cowboys have decided, for some reason, not to invest heavily in Dak. Mike McCarthy said at the NFL combine Dallas is “exactly where we want to be” with respect to Dak’s deal, which is just not true. Decoding what coaches and GMs say at the combine, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora did here, is a fine art.

McCarthy also referred to Dak’s situation as “a business matter,” and he’s not wrong about that part. It’s not personal. But the reality of the business here is the Cowboys didn’t pay Dak when they should and now they’re going to need to give him $35 million per year or more if they want to sign him. 

So that begs the question: should the Cowboys attempt to trade Dak? They don’t have to put him on the trade market to make it happen. Instead, they could put the non-exclusive franchise tag on Prescott, which would allow every other NFL team to negotiate with Prescott and then give the Cowboys the right to match any offer sheets or receive two first-round picks for Prescott if they decided not to match.

On a recent edition of the Pick Six Podcast, I posed the question as to whether or not my colleagues John Breech and Sean Wagner-McGough would give up Dak for a pair of first-round picks. Breech, a Bengals fan at heart (making this discussion particularly interesting), said he would give up Dak “in a heartbeat” if he was the Cowboys. 

“Two first round picks? Yeah. This year, with all those quarterbacks on the free agent market so I can go out and sign who I want, plus I have two first round picks, yeah I would do it,” Breech pointed out. 

Sean and I disagreed — I don’t think I would give him up. 

But, because I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of the Cowboys giving Dak the non-exclusive franchise tag and then seeing what someone would offer him, I asked La Canfora on Thursday’s show if he would do the move and he agreed with Breech wholeheartedly. 

If Miami is willing to give up No. 5 and No. 18, the Cowboys pull the trigger and go sign a free agent. If you’re Miami, you do that right? Two picks — probably less than the cost of getting Tua in a trade up — and you land Dak. You can hand him $40 million and get down to the business of building out your roster. I know the new “Moneyball” is having a QB on a rookie deal, but it’s way more important to have a good quarterback. 

The Dolphins can guarantee they’ve got a 26-year-old franchise quarterback, albeit one who is expensive. Let the Cowboys figure out how to rebuild at the position. This deal won’t happen, because Jerry Jones loves Dak too much, having “found” him in the draft. But it’s fun to imagine. Let’s gooooo. 

The NFL combine is over, so who were the biggest winners and losers? Ryan Wilson joins Will Brinson to break it all down, size up the first post-combine mock draft and more. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness. 

Alright, let’s get to it.

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