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Dallas Cowboys: Here are the answers to looming questions facing your Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and Stars


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<p>Top left: <span style=font-size: 1em; color: rgb(127, 140, 141); background-color: transparent;>Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs for a would-be </span>fourth quarter <span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;>touchdown in their NFC Wild Card win over the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, January 5, 2019. Dak came up short but ran in the touchdown a couple plays later. The Cowboys won, 24-22. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News) Top right: </span><span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;></span><span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;>Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) meet after practice at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday, February 4, 2019. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News) Bottom left: </span><span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;>Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels addresses members of the media following the dismissal of Manager Jeff Banister on Friday, Sept. 21, </span><span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;>2018 </span><span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;>at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named as the team's interim manager. (Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News) Bottom right: </span><span style=font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;>Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn (14) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Ben Nelms/The Canadian Press via AP)</span></p>


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Top left: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs for a would-be fourth quarter touchdown in their NFC Wild Card win over the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, January 5, 2019. Dak came up short but ran in the touchdown a couple plays later. The Cowboys won, 24-22. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News) Top right: Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) meet after practice at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday, February 4, 2019. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News) Bottom left: Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels addresses members of the media following the dismissal of Manager Jeff Banister on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named as the team’s interim manager. (Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News) Bottom right: Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn (14) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Ben Nelms/The Canadian Press via AP)


Questions, questions, everyone’s got questions. Are we really all alone in the universe? Was it something we said? Does a career with modest pay but interesting perks automatically mean your mother-in-law won’t approve? If the lovely wife is out of town, do I still snore? Unfortunately, these are questions too big even for your intrepid reporter. But questions about the four local sports franchises? Child’s play.

Should the Cowboys pay Dak Prescott like a franchise quarterback?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) walks to the locker room after losing to the Los Angeles Rams in their NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Cowboys lost 30-22. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)


Tom Fox/Staff Photographer

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) walks to the locker room after losing to the Los Angeles Rams in their NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Cowboys lost 30-22. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

I can hear you now: Everyone knows the big question is when is Jerry Jones going to hire a real general manager? That’s not a question. It’s a complaint. You know the answer anyway. Jerry will hire a GM when telemarketers give up.

Dak is the most polarizing Cowboy since … Tony Romo. Which shows how quickly it can turn. Quit football, become a psychic broadcaster and watch everyone forget that you won just two playoff games. Dak’s biggest public relations problem is that his most glaring weaknesses — accuracy and indecision in the pocket — were Romo’s strengths. Dak’s critics are slow to credit his durability, leadership and winning percentage, especially in the clutch.

But are those qualities good enough to pay him, say, $28 million a year? If your answer is no, you should know that’s what Kirk Cousins is averaging over three seasons with the Vikings. And I think I’d rather have Dak.

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But I wouldn’t pay him just yet. The advantage of a quarterback making just $2 million this fall is it allows you to pay someone else. Two of the Warriors’ last three titles came when Steph Curry was making $12 million, tops.

See how Dak performs in a different version of the offense, with a better line and another season of Amari Cooper. If you still like him then, give him the money.

Remember this, too, all you haters: Quarterbacks are like jobs; never give up on one until you have another in hand.

Will the Rangers ever develop a frontline pitcher?

Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Minor throws a bullpen session as pitching coach Julio Rangel looks on during a spring training workout at the team's training facility on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Surprise, Ariz.. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)


Smiley N. Pool/Staff Photographer

Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Minor throws a bullpen session as pitching coach Julio Rangel looks on during a spring training workout at the team’s training facility on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Surprise, Ariz.. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

The best pitchers the Rangers discovered and nurtured and promoted to the big leagues were Kevin Brown and Kenny Rogers. Problem is, I could have written that same sentence 25 years ago. A handful of pitchers have had their moments before and since, but it’s not exactly the ’93 Braves.

This has not only been Jon Daniels’ problem. Generations of Rangers execs have failed. Where did they all go wrong? Is it a curse? Do we need to exorcize the Globe? We’ve already sacrificed David Clyde. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the Rangers should bring him back, publicly apologize and prevent him from leaving until he signs a release.

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Or could it be that what the Rangers have needed all these years was not an ace but a thermostat?

A hospitable work environment for laboring pitchers would help. Koji Uehara probably still hasn’t cooled off since his summers in Arlington. Of course, it’s not so simple. Piling up pitching must become a priority. In my three decades following the Rangers, it’s been an occasional strategy.

Daniels has finally come to just such a conclusion, which improves his odds of eventually finding a pearl in all these shells. Sooner or later, you’d think they’d just get lucky.

Can the Mavs find a third star this summer?

The Orlando Magic's Nikola Vucevic celebrates as he walks off the floor following a 107-100 win against the Indiana Pacers at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)


Stephen M. Dowell/TNS

The Orlando Magic’s Nikola Vucevic celebrates as he walks off the floor following a 107-100 win against the Indiana Pacers at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Kristaps Porzingis is a second star, no matter what you may believe. Wait until you see his chemistry with Luka Doncic. This will be good. Promise.

The Mavs will also have about $30 million to spend on another player. Or players, if Plan A doesn’t work out.

Initial thoughts centered on Orlando’s brute center, Nikola Vucevic. He’d give the Mavs the physical presence and rebounding they need, and he’s got a typical European skill set. Done, right? Except SportsDay alum Marc Stein says the Mavs’ pursuit of Vucevic may be “overstated.” They’d reportedly like a little more shooting, speed and athleticism to mix with Porzingis and Doncic.

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Anyway, if not Vucevic, then what? Kevin Durant? Kyrie Irving? Kawhi Leonard?

Consider this your alarm clock.

Never put too much stock into what you hear or don’t hear about the Mavs’ plans. History shows they like to surprise. I still wouldn’t rule out Vucevic. Failing that, they may go for smaller fish this summer. Indiana’s Bojan Bogdanovic is a terrific shooter and scorer. He’d fill a need until a few contracts expire and the Mavs take runs at free agency in 2020 or 2021, when Porzingis and Doncic really catch on.

Who goes first, Jamie Benn or Jim Nill?

DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 30:  Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars skates the puck against Rasmus Dahlin #26 of the Buffalo Sabres in the third period at American Airlines Center on January 30, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

DALLAS, TEXAS – JANUARY 30: Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars skates the puck against Rasmus Dahlin #26 of the Buffalo Sabres in the third period at American Airlines Center on January 30, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

You know me, and it’s not as Mr. Hockey. But it seems safe to say by now that Nill has not transformed the Stars into Red Wings south.

Three head coaches in six years. Two short playoff runs.

One volcanic eruption from the team president.

Nill’s high point came three months into the job, when he traded for Boston bad boy Tyler Seguin. Since then? Not so much. Depending on how they finish out this season, it might be time for another blockbuster this summer.

Jim Lites didn’t famously call out Benn and Seguin because he was bored. Not his style. Sounds a little more like something that might have come from the owner, Tom Gaglardi. He’s a smart, commanding guy who hires good people and leaves them do their jobs. A novel approach in this market. But he also expects to win and, frankly, he’s been patient enough.

Here’s betting it means either Nill or Benn won’t be back next season. But I’ve been wrong before. Even about sports I know a little.

Twitter: @KSherringtonDMN

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