Dak Prescott becomes only the third quarterback to play under the franchise tag after both he and the Dallas Cowboys failed to mutually agree upon a contract extension prior to the July 15 deadline. Unfortunately for him, the other two QBs eventually had to move on to earn a long-term deal. Is history repeating itself?
Dak Prescott finds himself in the same boat as Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins found themselves in when they both played under the franchise tag. Brees played under the tag in 2005 before leaving and signing a long-term deal with the New Orleans Saints. Cousins also had to wait to leave Washington before earning his long-term contract from the Minnesota Vikings. Could the same thing be happening to Prescott?
Prescott’s situation is a little bit different then Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins’ though. The San Diego Chargers had just drafted Philip Rivers in 2004 and the Washington Redskins had just traded for Alex Smith. That means both teams had a backup plan in place before moving on from there starting QB. The Dallas Cowboys don’t currently have that luxury.
The Cowboys do have Andy Dalton under contract for the 2020 season and could probably convince him to stick around for a few more years if they wanted. Signing him for a few more seasons would be a fraction of the cost it would take to keep Dak Prescott around, but Dalton isn’t a long-term solution either.
Barring some blockbuster trade that lands the Cowboys their long-term solution at QB, slapping the franchise tag on Dak Prescott once again seems logical. That’s not going to make either party happy and more than likely will ruin what on the surface looks like a strong relationship. If that happens, and I think it very well could, Prescott’s long-term deal will probably have to come from another team in the league.
There are a lot of things that need to happen between now and then for this entire situation to become more clear, however, history seems to be working against Dak Prescott. With contract talks coming to nothing already and the likelihood teams will have much more less to spend in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a long-term extension for Prescott is hard to imagine.
Nothing of course is off the table right now. All options need to be weighed. The Dallas Cowboys have to do what’s in the best interest of the organization regardless of whose feelings may or may not be hurt. It is after all a business.