The Dallas Cowboys are in a bit of a standoff with Dak Prescott over a long-term contract, and it seems to be a situation they did not expect to find themselves in.
Prescott and the Cowboys are still said to be one year apart on a deal, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. Prescott is adamant about a four-year deal, believing that the Cowboys could simply make it a five- or six-year deal by using the franchise tag. The Cowboys want five years, which Prescott fears could be turned into a six- or seven-year pact.
According to Florio, the Cowboys are “stunned” by Prescott’s stance, and expected to have a deal done a long time ago. It appears Prescott’s decision to turn down a big offer in 2019 and bet on himself caught them off-guard, and it means Prescott holds all the leverage in negotiations right now.
NFL players are typically not viewed as having much leverage when a team uses the franchise tag on them, but former New York Jets executive Mike Tannenbaum says that is not at all the case with Dak Prescott.
Prescott is expected to sign his franchise tender with the Dallas Cowboys no later than Monday. That will place the star quarterback under contract with the team in 2020 whether it is by way of the franchise tag or a long-term extension. According to Tannenbaum, it also gives Prescott “enormous leverage” because of the money he stands to make this season and in 2021 if he plays under the tag one or both years.
I’ve thought all along that a long term deal, if it gets done at all, will be within a day or two of the July 15th deadline. @dak has enormous leverage as he’s locked in at $31,400,000 and would make around $38mm next year if he’s Franchised in ‘21. https://t.co/lv3AKGykKv
Kirk Cousins made roughly $44 million by playing under the franchise tag in 2016 and 2017. While playing under the tag takes some long-term security away from a player, Cousins is the perfect example of how the situation doesn’t always favor the team. The Washington Redskins paid Cousins a massive amount of money just to watch him walk in free agency, where he signed a mammoth, fully guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
Given their history, it seems unlikely that the Cowboys will let it get to that point. They don’t want Prescott counting more than $31 million against their salary cap this season and $38 million in 2021, so they have plenty of incentive to sign him to a long-term deal before July 15. There has reportedly been one big issue in negotiations, but Prescott would be wise to stick to his guns.
• Expected Dak to sign the tender but surprised on the timing • Nothing is imminent but both sides are CLOSE to a long-term deal • Cowboys will make a push to get a deal done prior to July 15th pic.twitter.com/CmlwlcPddH
This has been the case for quite a while. There appear to be very few sticking points in contract talks, but the ones that remain are proving quite hard to sort out. It’s believed that contract length is a major one, with the Cowboys preferring a longer deal than Prescott would like.
Dak Prescott will officially be under contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 one way or the other.
Prescott is planning to sign his franchise tender by Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. That means he will make $31.4 million this season if he and the Cowboys are unable to work out a long-term extension by the July 15 deadline.
Once he officially signs his franchise tender, Dak Prescott will be contractually obligated to report to training camp on time, whether or not he and the Cowboys can figure out a long-term deal. Prescott is locked in for 2020 season. https://t.co/2fWqhSpv8q
While there was never any real risk of it happening, Prescott’s decision to sign the franchise tender means he will not be going the Le’Veon Bell route. As Schefter noted, Prescott will be contractually obligated to report to training camp on time once he signs the tender, otherwise the 2020 season would not count as an accrued year toward free agency.
Prescott and the Cowboys appear to be close on money, but the 26-year-old wants a shorter deal than the team has been offering. Dallas reportedly wants to give Prescott a five-year contract, while Prescott wants a four-year contract that would allow him to hit free agency again at age 30.
The Dallas Cowboys have roughly one month to sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term deal and avoid him playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag. Worryingly, there appears to be little progress toward that right now, but there’s no cause for concern yet.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano said on “SportsCenter” Wednesday that there is an expectation that talks will restart in the weeks to come, and the belief remains that the two sides will get a long-term deal done.
“The reason that the franchise players are the focus is that there’s a July 15 deadline to sign your franchise player — four weeks from today,” Graziano said, via Robbie Weinstein of 247 Sports. “If you don’t sign them by that deadline you can’t negotiate, by rule, an extension with them until after the season ends. So where it stands with Dak Prescott and the Cowboys is July 15 is the deadline, there have not been significant talks in recent weeks. The expectation is that those talks will ramp up prior to July 15 and that a deal will get done.”
The two sides have been close on money, but the Cowboys want a long-term deal while Prescott would prefer a shorter pact to hit free agency sooner. A four-year deal would allow Prescott to hit the open market again just before he turns 31, which would give him an opportunity to get another nice deal toward the end of his prime.
There has been plenty of talk that Dak Prescott could hold out of training camp and potentially beyond if he does not have a long-term contract extension in place prior to the season, but one NFL reporter is fully confident the team will not let it get to that point.
In his latest mailbag, Jay Glazer of The Athletic was asked a question about Andy Dalton potentially starting for the Cowboys if Prescott sits out Week 1. Glazer completely dismissed the idea of Prescott holding out.
“They won’t (let it get to that). Absolutely not. It’s not part of their plan,” Glazer wrote. “Dak Prescott will be a part of the Dallas Cowboys for a long, long time. They will get this worked out.”
Teams have until July 15 to work out long-term extensions with franchise tagged players, so that gives Prescott and the Cowboys less than a month to negotiate. While there have been indications that the two sides could drag out the contract talks until the deadline, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in danger of not finding middle ground.
There is reportedly only one big issue in negotiations between Prescott and the Cowboys, which is certainly a good sign. Eventually, Dallas is going to make Prescott one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in football. Like Glazer said, it would be very surprising if they waited until next offseason to finalize something.
Michael Irvin thinks it’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to pay Dak Prescott — and not just for his future production, either.
Irvin believes the Cowboys should pay Prescott because he has won for them over his first four NFL seasons — and because, in essence, they owe him for those four years, too.
“Dak has been not great, but perfect,” Irvin said on Wednesday’s “The Rich Eisen Show,” via the Dallas Morning News. “Not necessarily in wins and losses, of course. But I’m talking about just the person that he’s been. The kind of investment you want to make, the kind of guy you say ‘yeah, we hit it with this guy. We got him in the fourth round.’ You stole four years, so whatever he gets he deserves because you still owe him back pay.”
Obviously, most teams aren’t going to think this way. Irvin is right that Prescott has won — he’s 40-24 as a starter. More importantly, he’s still only 26, and still has a lot of his prime left.