[jason zaloga]"is there a way to select a precomp in the project window and export it out as a separate project with all the other sub precomps and needed files? does this make sense?"
There's a way to do it, but it's not a single command.
What you can do is select a pre-comp and use the File > Reduce Project command to eliminate everything in the current project except the selected composition and it's dependencies. Then you can File > Collect Files to collect the current project to a new location with all required footage. The project's name will be the same as the original project though. So if you want to save it as something else you'll need to Save As in between the Reduce Project and Collect Files commands.