The Dallas Cowboys are trying to figure out the contractual futures for two of their best players.
Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are both set to be free agents. Prescott and the Cowboys did not reach agreement on a long-term deal last year despite negotiations, but the Cowboys have no intention of losing him. They are expected to franchise tag Prescott to prevent him from getting away. The chances of a Cooper return are not as certain.
In an article on Friday for the Dallas Morning News, Calvin Watkins reported that the agents for Prescott and Cooper are in a holding pattern regarding the contracts for their clients. They are waiting to see what happens with the CBA negotiations before deciding their next move.
Also in the article, Watkins reported that the Cowboys previously offered Prescott a contract with an average annual value of $33 million and a total guarantee of $105 million. Prescott was probably wise to turn down the offer, because he had a very strong statistical season (career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns, with just 11 interceptions).
Back in August, we heard Prescott wanted $40 million a season from Dallas. Maybe that was a starting point in their negotiations, but it’s clear they’re seeking big bucks for the quarterback.
The Cowboys have previously said they want to work out extensions with both players, as well they should. Prescott is a strong quarterback, and as we saw before and after Dallas acquired Cooper in 2018, the QB is at his best with Cooper around. Dallas can’t afford to lose Prescott and won’t. He could get $33 million via the exclusive franchise tag.
The Dallas Cowboys seem to have a plan in mind for Dak Prescott.
Prescott and Dallas have had contract talks regarding a long-term deal but have thus far been unable to reach an agreement. Dallas is therefore likely to use a franchise tag to retain the quarterback.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said on Friday that the Cowboys will likely use the exclusive franchise tag on Prescott.
There is one way the #Cowboys can make sure Dak Prescott doesn't go anywhere & that’s to give him the exclusive franchise tag. Sources say that’s the tag — roughly $33M — they are likely to use. Dallas will try to work out a deal before the deadline, but that will be difficult. pic.twitter.com/kfCkPR1NE8
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 29, 2020
The exclusive franchise tag prevents a player from being able to negotiate with other teams. The non-exclusive tag allows a player to potentially sign an offer sheet with another team, which the original team would have the ability to match or receive compensation if they lose the player.
Prescott would receive the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL as of April, which is estimated to be $33 million. Receiving a franchise tag also would not prevent the two sides from reaching a long-term deal.
Prescott will be a free agent. His reps met with the Cowboys at the NFL Combine this week, which reportedly was the first time the sides talked since September.
The likelihood of Dak Prescott being franchise tagged by the Dallas Cowboys appears to be increasing by the day.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones revealed Monday that the team has not had contract discussions with Prescott’s agent since September, before the 2019 season even started. The two sides have not spoken during the offseason either.
Jones added, however, that the team was waiting on talks until there was clarity on whether there will be a new CBA for the 2020 season.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said the team has not met or negotiated with QB Dak Prescott’s agent Todd France since September before the season. No talks yet this offseason. May meet here at combine, but meeting not firmly scheduled yet.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) February 24, 2020
Stephen Jones said no contract with QB Dak Prescott or WR Amari Cooper will be agreed upon until CBA rules for the 2020 league year are decided. Cowboys met with Cooper and his agent Chafie Fields at Super Bowl in Miami. “Very upbeat” conversation.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) February 24, 2020
Reports have indicated that the Cowboys don’t want to use the franchise tag on Prescott, but that’s the way things are trending right now. While there will theoretically be time to talk a long-term deal once the CBA situation is sorted out, the fact that Prescott and the Cowboys haven’t even spoken since September doesn’t really bode well for a quick resolution to talks. The Cowboys are racing against time, and while it’s not impossible, it just doesn’t appear that enough progress is being made right now to sort the situation out in time.
Michael Irvin helped give life to the rumor that the Dallas Cowboys are interested in replacing Dak Prescott with Tom Brady. Now he’s trashing the logic of that rumor.
Irvin said last week that he’d been told by “very significant people” that the Cowboys were considering letting Prescott leave and bringing Brady in to replace him. Now, Irving says that the “significant people” he spoke to were not affiliated with the Cowboys, that it would be “insane” for the franchise to do such a thing, and that Brady is finished as an elite quarterback.
“I said what somebody said. That should no way be taken as those are my thoughts on what should happen,” Irvin said, via Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram. “Ain’t no way in world that should happen. That would be insane. Are you kidding me? Are you out of your mind? It’s over for Tom.”
Expect Brady to use those words as motivation as he prepares for another NFL season. That aside, nobody seems to seriously think this is on the table. The Cowboys have made no secret of their desire to keep Prescott, and the two sides are going to try to work out a long-term deal. As for Brady, the consensus right now is that there’s only one team that could pull him away from the New England Patriots.
Dak Prescott appears to be destined for the franchise tag with a long-term extension still not in place for the star quarterback, but the Dallas Cowboys remain hopeful that the situation will not get to that point.
Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones said again recently that the team is working hard to sign Prescott to a new deal, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Tuesday that Dallas still wants to reach an agreement before the March 10 deadline to use the franchise tag.
The #Cowboys are going to try to buck history, attempting to get a deal done with QB Dak Prescott by the close of the franchise tag window on March 10. A lot will have to happen for a deal to come together. pic.twitter.com/Csl9LVvvB9
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 11, 2020
As Rapoport notes, the franchise tag deadline isn’t really a deadline, as players who are tagged still have until July 15 to work out a long-term agreement with their teams. Although, the Cowboys could use the franchise tag on another player — perhaps Amari Cooper — if they agree to a long-term contract with Prescott prior to March 10.
We have heard some wild rumors in recent days about the Cowboys possibly replacing Prescott, but there’s almost no chance of that happening. The two sides have been negotiating since before the start of last season, and the Cowboys consider Prescott their quarterback of the future.
While most players would rather not play under the franchise tag, the Cowboys know they have more than a year to work out a long-term deal with Prescott. Obviously, they would prefer to get something done well before that.
Tom Brady’s impending free agency has led to some wild hypothetical situations being thrown around, and one of them is Brady suiting up for the Cowboys in 2020. But even if Dallas had the opportunity to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, new head coach Mike McCarthy does not sound interested.
Cowboys legend Michael Irvin told WEEI this week that he recently had a “shocking” conversation with some “very significant people” about the possibility of Brady in Dallas. However, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports that McCarthy would prefer to work with a younger quarterback and develop him, which likely means he would rather have Dak Prescott than Brady.
So I asked a team source about this as a hypothetical 2 weeks ago bc I was curious why Dallas wouldn’t at least consider the possibility given recent changes. The answer I got? McCarthy would be more inclined to want to work with a younger QB and develop him in Dallas but https://t.co/uLxs9y9EcC
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) February 9, 2020
The Cowboys have said publicly on numerous occasions that they expect to sign Prescott to a long-term deal, so the idea of trading him for a year or two of Brady seems unrealistic. There is likely some intrigue there since Dallas has such a talented roster and Brady signing with the Cowboys would be arguably the biggest free agent acquisition in NFL history, but that doesn’t mean anything will come of it.
Prescott appears to be destined for the franchise tag this offseason, and we have heard some outrageous figures thrown around for how much the Cowboys might pay him. If Dallas waits until Patrick Mahomes signs an extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, the situation may get even more complicated.
The Dallas Cowboys have said numerous times publicly that they want to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term contract extension, but it does not sound like the two sides are on the verge of an agreement.
The Cowboys are expected to use the franchise tag on Prescott this offseason, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. While neither side wants that to happen, the deadline for using the franchise tag is March 10, which is about a week before the start of free agency. Dallas obviously is not going to let Prescott become a free agent.
If the Cowboys do use the tag on Prescott, that will give them until July 15 to sign him to a multi-year extension. As Schefter notes, the fact that negotiations have been going on for so long is an indication that the two sides may disagree over Prescott’s value.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said near the end of the season that the Cowboys have an “aggressive offer” on the table to Prescott. We have heard some truly outrageous figures thrown around that probably will not end up being accurate, but the Cowboys may be motivated to get a deal done with Prescott before Patrick Mahomes signs an extension with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mahomes is eligible to sign an extension with Kansas City this offseason, and he is expected to land a record-setting deal. If it works out, that will reset the quarterback market. Dallas could be better off signing Prescott to a long-term contract before that happens.