Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott's leg break under franchise tag is the nightmare scenario

Well, there's no shortage of happenings across the Atlantic at the moment.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is carted off the field.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is carted off the field.

The Yankees succumbed to the Tampa Bay Rays, setting the Rays up to play the Houston Astros in baseball's American League Championship series. Meanwhile, on the National League side the of the tournament, the Atlanta Braves will take on the LA Dodgers.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis pulled the LA Lakers back to to the top of the NBA, with a championship win over LeBron's old team the Miami Heat. Both players spoke of their respect for Kobe Bryant and how they used his memory to drive the team forward in the Orlando bubble.

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The biggest story of the weekend was the return of Alex Smith to the NFL field 693 days after he broke his leg.

The former No 1 overall college draft pick signed for Washington in 2018 and had an excellent start to his time there until he broke his tibia and fibula on a play. Smith underwent a tumultuous year as he had 17 surgeries, skin and muscle grafts and at one point conversations about amputating his leg.

But Smith never wavered and continued his fightback returning to the field after Washington starter Kyle Allen left with an arm injury.

But as one quarterback returned another in Dallas started his fight back.

Late in the third quarter of Dallas’ eventual 37-34 win over the New York Giants, Cowboys passer Dak Prescott looked downfield and couldn't see a viable option. He stopped, looked left and started running. As he made his way towards the first down marker, he was caught from behind and as the tackler fell, he rolled over Prescott's ankle.

The scenes that followed were reminiscent of those the day Smith broke his leg. Players and coaches surrounded the stoic but clearly distraught Prescott as he received medical attention.

After a full five minutes of treatment on the field, the quarterback was carted off to a standing ovation from the small crowd allowed to attend the game and waved his thanks.

But the difference between Dak and Alex Smith is their contract status. Prescott was playing under a franchise tag as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Prescott’s representatives didn't see the same value in the player.

Prescott has been one of the most efficient passers in the league during his four full seasons. The Cowboys have become an offensive force with him under centre and, despite a porous defense, the team has still been competitive.

The quarterback’s agents believe that should put him in the top tier of quarterback salaries. Still, Jones, a notoriously stingy negotiator, refused to value you him as such, so the Cowboys franchised tagged him.

The franchise tag is a way of keeping a free agent for another year but comes with a hefty price tag, this year for a quarterback it's a guaranteed £19million.

In the past, players have refused to play under the tag as they feel that they have no long-term security, and it leaves them in the cold if they get injured. And now this is Prescott’s reality.

Prescott underwent surgery last night on his broken ankle and no doubt his season is over. But, with a long recovery period anticipated, will Prescott ever play for Dallas again?

Around the rest of the league, the biggest upset came with not the victory but the margin of victory in San Francisco. The 49ers had starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back and were expected to easily see off Miami. But the Dolphins and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had other ideas, running out 43-17 winners.

In another upset, the Kansas City Chiefs failed in their bid to go a calendar year unbeaten as they were upstaged by the Las Vegas Raiders in a 40-24 loss.

Pittsburgh and Seattle both picked up wins to stay unbeaten, with Seattle grabbing their fifth win and the Steelers their fourth.

Meanwhile, the two New York city teams have a collective total of zero wins and ten losses to start the season. The only other winless team are the Atalanta Falcons, who fired head coach Dan Quinn late Sunday night, after losing to Carolina.

The Houston Texans picked up their first win, 30-14 over AFC South rivals Jacksonville, a week on from firing coach Bill O’Brien. The Rams, Bears and Browns also picked up wins.

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