Dak Prescott describes 'tough' year, including death of his older brother

Frank Schwab
·5-min read

Dak Prescott was in the headlines all offseason for his contract, but he said he’s not worried about it now. He’s on a one-year franchise tag but believes he’ll be the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback the rest of his career.

There were bigger things on his mind. Prescott’s older brother Jace died in April at age 31. Prescott said Jace got him on the road to being a quarterback, that his brother was the one he first threw a football to.

Also, the social issues of the summer and dealing with COVID-19 also weighed on Prescott.

“It’s been a tough year. It’s been a tough year for me personally, it’s been a tough year for my family, it’s been a tough year for this country and this world, obviously,” Prescott said when he spoke to the media on a video conference call Wednesday. “It’s all been tough.”

Prescott had a lot to say that had nothing to do with his contract.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) will be playing on the franchise tag this season. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) will be playing on the franchise tag this season. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Dak Prescott addresses social issues

Prescott took an active role in social issues this offseason. He said he appreciates his platform as Cowboys quarterback and feels obligated to use it. He wrote a letter to the Oklahoma governor asking for the release of death row inmate Julius Jones. He pledged $1 million to police training in an effort to address systemic racism in law enforcement after George Floyd’s death.

“When I pledged to go $1 million, honestly it could be more. It could be way more,” Prescott said. “I just wanted to make a pledge to say I’m here for the people to help create a better culture within our law enforcement so we can gain that trust. There’s no reason, still me as a starting quarterback in the NFL, should be nervous the moment sirens are turned on. But that’s the way it is.

“I don’t think the answer is to defund [the police]. We need the protection, we need what they offer, but we all know there is some corruptness within there. I think it has to start within, as anything does, when you’re trying to get the bad out and create good.”

Of course, that turned the topic to NFL players kneeling for the national anthem this season to bring attention to social issues, or some other form of protest. Prescott said those conversations are happening around the league. He hoped that whatever the Cowboys do, they can do it together though he said he would “100 percent” support any teammate that did something different.

“The best part about football is that it represents, in a sense, the country,” Prescott said. “Different people from different economic backgrounds, different social backgrounds, different beliefs, religion, color — any way you think of, a football team has everybody compiled of all different places and backgrounds, but we all come together for one common goal, to support each other and win. In anything we do we want to represent how we can come together and how we can be as one. That’s what this country needs to be right now.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been against kneeling during the anthem and said Wednesday he would be listening, and whatever demonstration happened it would be with “grace.” Prescott said he believed Jones didn’t want to say anything now and say something wrong.

“His backgrounds, his beliefs, all that is different than other people,” Prescott said. “Not that he can’t relate, but it might be tough for him to relate to what other people may be going through right now.”

Prescott discusses contract, future

Of course, Prescott spoke about his contract issues too. He’s playing on the one-year franchise tag after not getting a long-term deal done before the deadline. There are no hard feelings from either side. Prescott said he was “blessed” to be a Cowboy and that’s where he wants to be.

“I’m excited as hell to be a Dallas Cowboy,” Prescott said. “I’ve been a fan of this organization, I’ve been a fan of this program for years.

“No frustration as far as that. I believe something will get done. I hope I’ll be a Dallas Cowboy the rest of my career.”

The Cowboys are still confident they can get a long-term deal done, but the uncertainty concerning what comes next with COVID-19 was a factor this offseason. Prescott said he’s not worried about the future. He said he focuses on living day by day.

“That’s the way I have to be, even more focused that I live my life this way as I said with things that have happened to me personally and the place this world is in, with the crisis we’re in, with the COVID, with the social injustice, I don’t look too far ahead,” Prescott said. “I think you get in trouble and I think you get derailed when you do that.

“When that time comes again to negotiate, to get back at the table, that’s where my focus will be. But right now it’s not a worry in my mind or a thought that crosses my head.”

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