These two teams last met nearly two years ago to the day, a matchup Dallas won 26-20 to improve to a league-best 12-2. Tampa, despite the loss, fell to 8-6 and seemed to be on the ascent in the NFL. At the time, both teams appeared to have franchise-altering quarterbacks in Dak Prescott and Jameis Winston.
Fast forward two calendar years and optimism in both signal callers has fallen off a cliff, especially for Winston. It’s not a stretch to say the former number-one overall pick is playing for his future come Sunday’s visit to “Jerry World.” The embattled Winston has lost his starting gig on two separate occasions this year and Tampa can cut their losses with him (and his $20 million salary in 2019) in the offseason if they choose so.
Prescott is eligible for a contract extension at season’s end, but his pedestrian 2018 stat line — 3,337 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions — doesn’t exactly scream “max contract.” Then again, Jerry Jones isn’t exactly known for making logical decisions.
Either way, Sunday’s meeting might make a bigger imprint on the two quarterback’s wallet than the NFC playoff race. Tampa’s playoff drought that began in 2008 will extend another season with a disappointing 5-9 mark. Meanwhile, Dallas is clinging to a comfortable one-game lead in the NFC South over Washington and Philadelphia, who are both playing backup quarterbacks at the moment.