Dak Prescott deal caused Mike McCarthy to do “cartwheels in the sand”

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The Cowboys finally worked out a long-term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott. To the great delight of Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy.

“I was actually in Florida when the deal was finally completed,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday. “It’s a lot easier to do cartwheels on the sand, I’ll say that. . . . I was obviously very excited. He is definitely a keystone of moving forward as a football team. I was very excited about that.”

McCarthy also is excited to see Prescott moving closer to 100 percent.

“He was just finishing up his workout on the field as I walked in here,” McCarthy said. “He’s making progress and he’s on course. I’m excited about Year Two of the offense because frankly in a lot of ways we feel like we really didn’t get to have Year One. We’re excited about what we can do this year with a healthy offense.”

To stay healthy, the quarterback of the offense will need to avoid contact and, in turn, injury.

“From my personal experience, I think the way the league plays today, makes it a little easier,” McCarthy said. “In the ’90s it was a bigger challenge. I think the quarterbacks are clearly protected more. I think that’s why I think you see wide-open offenses with the running of the quarterback, and you see that in advance. I don’t think it will be a huge adjustment for [Prescott]. I don’t think he needs to be lowering his shoulder and stiff-arming maybe as much. Jerry [Jones] probably wants him to run out of bounds every play. I think he’s got to be a little more mindful of it. You don’t ever want to tell a player — I don’t ever try to make a statement to a player that would make him hesitate, because hesitation in the NFL is you’re a full step slower than the opponent, and it can put you in a worse position.”

The best position for the Cowboys will be to have Prescott all year long, like he was each of his first four seasons. It’s for Prescott to ultimately strike the balance between doing enough and not trying to do too much. But no quarterback should be reckless, because for every quarterback, and with rare exceptions, it’s always better to be able to line up for the next play than to get an extra yard or two during the current one.