FRISCO - Sports fandom is an ideal barroom brawl in which nobody really gets hurt and nothing really gets broken.
Except for feelings and hearts.
Everybody, of course, has an opinion on the stories of the day. Some are uninformed, some are knee-jerk, some are biased, some come with the always-inviting fact-based foundation.
READ MORE: Cowboys Contracts: Solving The Dak Dilemma
But - in regard to one such "story of the day'' - "What is the trade value of Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford?'' ... We just found out.
Detroit is trading Stafford to the Rams in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-round pick and QB Jared Goff, per multiple reports. That addition first-rounder was paid by L.A. as its "punishment'' for dumping Goff on Detroit ... but that doesn't keep Goff from revitalizing himself as a Lion. (Or being valuable in an ensuing trade.)
Before the trade, in a GM survey (seven of 'em) conducted by our man Bryan Broaddus, an 105.3 The Fan teammate who worked for years in the NFL as a personnel guy, the question was asked: "What'll it take to get Stafford in a trade?''
The overwhelming consensus: A first-round pick, plus another pick of value. (Third-round, maybe).
The Lions just did better than that, depending on what one thinks of Goff. And now there are lessons to be learned for other teams with other QBs. Most prominently?
Dallas and Dak.
And Houston and Deshaun.
It was, before Saturday, a legit question that a team should ponder: Would you rather employ Dak at $38 million for one year or Stafford at $43 million for two years? (Opinions are fine - but the question, no matter your answer, is valid.) If you prefer Stafford, how were you going to get him? Dak would surely not "sign-and-trade'' his way to Detroit ... and now you know Dallas surely wouldn't have paid any price at all comparable to what the Rams just paid.
This has a direct impact on the Texans and Watson, I think, because it signals the idea stated below: The skyrocketing of the price to get Deshaun ("five firsts, your wife and your first-born.'')
The impact on the Dallas Cowboys and their dealings with Dak Prescott is less direct, but no less important: Prescott's value, if Stafford, at age 32, can net three premium picks? It'll skyrocket, too.
If Stafford is (with Goff tangled in there) worth two firsts, and if Watson might command four premium picks ... is Dak worth two first-rounders? Three?
Dallas would be wise to get to work on this, really, fairly, in both directions. One, the Cowboys owe it to themselves to get a gauge on what Prescott's trade market might be, just in case they can't sign him long-term. (They might wish to get out ahead of this, too, because Watson finding a new team would remove a Dak suitor.) And two, assuming the Cowboys are true to their word and intend to keep Prescott, they'd be wise to hurry to the negotiating table ... before any more skyrocketing in the other "price'' - the cost of a contract.