Jan 18, 2024 - Sports

What's next for the Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones has some big decisions to make. Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Jerry Jones and his family are once again facing a series of difficult decisions about the future of the franchise.

Why it matters: After yet another calamitous season-ending loss, the tenures of the team's coaching staff, starting quarterback and starting running back are all up in the air.

  • Though the Cowboys entered this postseason with what might've been the clearest path to a Super Bowl since the 1990s, fans are now reeling from another disappointing finish.

Zoom in: The most obvious question after the game was about head coach Mike McCarthy. He's won 12 games in each of his three seasons with Dallas, but he's 1-3 in the playoffs.

Yes, but: ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday night that McCarthy will return for a fourth season with the Cowboys.

Meanwhile: Starting quarterback Dak Prescott has one year left on his four-year, $160 million contract. If he's not traded, cut or extended, Prescott's deal will mean a nearly-$60 million salary cap hit in 2024 — making it extremely difficult to extend the contracts of young stars like Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb.

Plus: The Cowboys have 16 players — including starting running back Tony Pollard and eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyron Smith — who'll become free agents this year.

The bottom line: Whatever happens, the 2024 Cowboys will look a lot different.

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