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Cowboys, Dak Prescott Fail to Sign Long-Term Contract Before Deadline

The Dallas Cowboys and Quarterback Dak Prescott were unable to agree on a long-term contract by today’s 4:00 pm deadline. This mean Prescott will play the 2020 season under the franchise tag and the issue will remain open until the next offseason.

Dak was given the exclusive franchise tag back in March, which pays about $31 million in 2020 and blocked other teams from talking to him. If he’s tagged again in 2021, that projects to be around a $37 million for the QB tender.

Prescott and the Cowboys appear to have been stuck on the number of years in the deal more than the money. Dallas was willing to make Dak the second-highest paid QB in the NFL in annual compensation, tied with Russell Wilson and beaten only by the new deal Pat Mahomes just got from Kansas City.

But Prescott has been determined to re-enter free agency while he’s still just 30 years old and assumably in his prime, hoping for another payday. Dallas would like more commitment and stability from the contract with at least another year or two on the deal.

Now that the deadline has passed, a new contract cannot be signed until after the 2020 season. The two sides can still talk and perhaps even reach a private agreement, but they can’t make anything official until the Cowboys play their last game.

At the end of the day, Dak Prescott is still the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and his long-term future is still up in the air. Not that much has really changed.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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  1. I actually think Jerry/Steven are unwise to insist on that 1 extra year. In the event that Dak doesn’t pan out, they would have been able to get out of any bad contract earlier … and if Dak does get us to a Super Bowl, then the next extension is probably worthwhile. I sense this is far more about the COVID uncertainly that it is about any specific contract parameters, as many would have you think.

    • This actually goes right along with Bill’s comment: If COVID forces a cancellation of the 2020-2021 season, as I (personally) believe it will, what happens then? When could Dallas publicly announce that they’re still working to get Dak signed?

  2. Time to Let Dek Prescott go After the 2020 season he will Neaver Get the cowboys to a Super bowl win in his life

    • Interesting thing is that the drama doesn’t come from the offices of the Dallas Cowboys … though it continues to fill their wallets, increase their brand, keep them relevant, and even keep guys like you engaged. Thanks for playing!

      Jerry has taken the vehicle Tax gave him to a new level. He couldn’t stop this team from making money if he tried. Again, because of people like you who continue to follow and keep them relevant.

      In the midst of a pandemic, the Cowboys have literally done nothing (literally!) and yet here they are as leading sports news. And you too fall prey to their magnetism and sit, commenting, and keeping them in the forefront. Again, thanks for playing!

  3. Depending on how much animosity is present, there is absolutely no guarantee Dak will resign with the cowboys. With so many teams in need of a quality QB I can only imagine what the competition will be to lock him up. Unless he tanks this yr ur looking at an epic bidding war. My first thought is the cowboys played chicken and lost. It’s just so incredibly hard to secure a quality QB and they have so much invested in him, I’m surprised they didnt find a way to get it done. Not saying Dak is all world but If not him who is ur QB? I’m not privy to the relationship between Dak and the Jones family and he could end up resigning, but wow taking a big chance there. Plus if Dak isn’t working out the cowboys won’t be tied into Dak anymore then they will with Zeke. He gets his signing bonus then can be cut at any point making the length of the contract a moot point in that regard. Though Dak would really need to regress for that to happen. I get the whole covid think but still.

    • Cowboys can lock Dak up again and prevent him from free-agency by tagging him again. Only way he walks then, is if Dallas either trades him or opts to release him. Any bidding wars start with Dallas having ultimate control. I’ve got no problem with how the Jones’s have played this, but then again my preference would have been that they got him signed last year.

  4. I think covid played a factor here more yhan anything else. Lets say the cap doesnt stays the same or worse drops a bit. Then it will kinda put us in a salary cap hell like situation. To me good quarterbacks are vastly overpaid. Dak doesnt deserve Russell Wilson money or anything close. I feel like at most Dak should be paid more of the bracket of Stafford or Carr. I believe with how many weapons our OLine and Skill players I say let the Red Rifle start and see what he can do while developing DiNucci. I would be 100% ok if they traded Dak to a QB needy team if it netted us good draft compensation. Because the way it may head the best we’ll get for him is a 3rd round comp pick.

  5. I would overpay for a very good (not elite) but very good QB in a heartbeat over any other position cuz without one u ain’t going nowhere. Dak is entrenched in our system, is a tremendous leader, a hard worker and still has some room to grow . Seriously roll with Dalton? And after this yr he is a free agent then what? Resign him? Lord help us. And u can’t be serious about Denucci who is at best a developmental project several yrs away from sniffing the field. I understand the cap ramifications but in my opinion we can’t afford not to sign Dak. If we thought it was hard to sign him this yr think about trying it next yr.

  6. We pay Dak 38 million next yr if we franchise tag him again makes no sense to pay that. We are in danger of losing him with no compensation

  7. For looking at how overpaying can hurt a team look no further than how the Vikings got ravaged by Cousins signing. Theyre more than likely going to lose Cook, traded Diggs and lost most of their defensive starters from a team that went to the NFC championship game. Cousins hasnt provided that super bowl Minnesota was hoping he’d bring because Cousins is a good not great QB. I just think with Dak we’ve seen his ceiling and how far he can take us. But this will be a telling year. If he cant get us to at least an NFC Championship with Pillars, Zeke, Lamb, Coop, Gallup, Jarwin, that elite OLIne and a new coach in McCarthy who’s bringing in a new system then maybe letting him go as opposed to locking him up for the long term.

    • If Dak can take us to the championship game then by all means hes worth a long term deal but if it doesnt seem that way or hes not playing at a higher level then trades are the way to go

  8. Justin u make good points but the Vikings entered into financial purgatory because they stupidly franchise tagged Cousins twice resulting in huge payouts both yrs a mistake the cowboys are about to duplicate. As far as whether Dak is better then Cousins who can say. I do agree this is a crossroads yr of sorts for Dak and with this team anything short of the NFC championship game is unacceptable in my opinion. I Respect ur opinions nonetheless. But I stand by my opinion that I wished they had signed him. Look at the bad teams they all have bad or mediocre QBs.

    • Cousins was franchised by Washington, not Minnesota. The Vikings got him via free agency. There are lots of ways to acquire QB’s … look what NE just landed for dirt cheap (that could have been Dallas). To think you have to draft and develop is a bit of a misnomer … it’s optimal to do so, but by no means required. I personally think it is Dak and his team that have misplayed this, though barring injury, he’ll eventually get paid whether it’s DAL or elsewhere … but if he goes elsewhere, I’d venture to say he’s leaving a perfect environment for something more dicey.

  9. I am fine with the not overpaying….the only thing I hold against Jerry is that he didn’t put the non-exclusive tag on Dak…let him test the market himself see what he is worth…either match it OR get TWO first rounders. So next year we are back to overpaying or let him go free for nothing. This is the question I would ask Jerry ‘why not the exclusive tag’…seriously.

  10. Ur right Bill it was the Redskins then the Vikings overpaid for him in free agency. I wish I was as optimistic about how easy it is to land a quality QB as u are. I don’t think its easy at get a good one. You can find a QB anywhere but if u want to be a contender u need a really good one. and I would hardly consider Cam Newton a great signing for NE concerning all the questions marks surrounding him. There’s a reason he was lasted so long on the open market and signed so cheaply. Yep plenty of blame to go around on this one. Neither side wanted to blink now here we are. I do agree that Dallas is a good fit for Dak but players usually chase the money and if a team backs the brink truck up.

  11. The moral of the story is … don’t overthink this. Everybody his going to have an opinion and every media pundit is going to present all kinds of stories, ideas, etc. and that’s both cool and fun.

    There is still so much time to go before Dak and his contract become an issue again. Newsmakers will keep the conversations alive and the fans will debate it for another year, and the theories, concepts, ideas for resolution, where to place the blame, etc will go on and on … but the right approach now is to work towards tying to get the 2020 campaign going and see how it plays out. For all we know the ‘Boys could end up with a shot at Lawrence (no matter how crazy that sounds).

    Let the debates/discussions continue but don’t get up in arrears about it … there’s way too much time and all kinds of variables … nobody (literally) can predict where we will be with this at this time next year.

    Today’s end result shouldn’t have surprised anyone, and that’s true even if he was signed.

    Time to move on and focus on what this staff has planned for 2020 …

  12. “Dallas was willing to make Dak the second-highest paid QB in the NFL”. Second only to Mahomes.

    Greedy, self-centered, and probably narcissistic, that’s diva Dak.

    As a longtime Cowboy, it hard to say this because it would definitely hurt my team, but I almost hope this ba$tard tanks this year.

    • Greedy self-centered and narcissistic, really? The problem with the cowboys is no Dak, it’s Jerry Jones. When players play at the pleasure of the GM and not the head coach there’s always going to be a problem. He hired a head coach that is weak for this exact reason and as a result the team might not do well this season. As far as that contract it wasn’t about money it’s more about the number a years on the contract. I think Dak was willing to take a risk but the cowboys wasn’t being that if Dak had four Good seasons he would be up for another huge payday. But the cowboys wasn’t willing to bet that he would fizzle out. Also, Dak has no reason to be willing to sign a four-year deal with the cowboys next year I suspect he would want a three-year deal and we’ll end up in the same position next year and all that money you’re talking about will come to him anyway. Jerry Jones is the real narcissist self-centered greedy person in this situation.

  13. My fear with Dak playing under the franchise tag is that he is not going to be willing to run the way Dallas needs him to to be effective. With no guaranteed money on the table next year Dak has to be making business decisions every time he heads out of the pocket. I believe this impacted his play last year and is going to again this year.

    • Tru dat Todd. I’d like to think that’s not the case, but it’s certainly understandable. I do feel that Dak’s ability to run should be a big part of this offense (rollouts, RPO’s, scrambling, etc), and if he isn’t willing, then I’d be disappointed. Hoping he’ll take the opposite approach and maybe adopt the thought that if he can show how much his running adds to his game, he can actually increase his value across the league. I hold to the belief that the only thing about Dak that is elite is his intangibles, and to that end, I think his approach to this idea would prove that out … that he will do what it takes to win.

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