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Dak Prescott: History Suggests a Long-term Contract From Cowboys Unlikely

If history repeats itself, a long-term contract for Dak Prescott is unlikely.

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.

What do you think? Is history working against Dak Prescott?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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  1. There is no doubt that Dak got really, really bad representation.
    Dak was playing for no money and taking all the financial risk because he was only a 4th round pick but was starting as QB. If he got hurt, he got nothing and had made no real money.
    Good business reps would have gotten Dak signed to a first real money contract ASAP in order to end the period of Dak being at 100% of the risk.
    Players believe they are bullet proof and never believe they are one play away from career end. Good reps always have that reality in mind for the player.
    Dak is now left to play his 5th year taking 100% of the risk. That is just foolish .
    Now, for the team, this is great. I dont understand why anyone thinks the team is in any problem here. The Dallas team has Dak with no risk to the team. Dak has to both perform and stay healthy while the team simply pays this year’s salary.
    Great for the team. Stupid for Dak. The team can offer a risk sharing contract next year if Dak survives.
    Dak, fire your reps . They are not looking out for you. Too bad it is too late but bad business choices matter.

  2. One further issue that is important to look at in the Cowboy team signing Dak long term is that the Cowboys management do not actually care about winning.
    Before anyone disagrees, look at the team’s actions.
    Dak is the #5 QB in the league and is only in his 4th year. QB is the most vital position and the hardest to find.
    During the 4 years of paying their starting QB nothing( a 4th round salary), the Boys spent the LEAST in the league on players. The concept of spending big to win a SB while the QB is on rookie salary went by with opposite spending from Jerry.
    For 4 seasons, the team used rookies and low price veterans as fill ins . The team did make some big signings in 2019 that made headlines, but look at those actual deals and they are really obligated to short term , 2-3 year spending. No one believes Cooper or Lawrence will be kept at the balloon payment rate that comes in 3 years. Elliott is different as Jerry loves bad guys so Elliott got a really team stupid contract…but that is not about winning, that is about Jerry having pets.
    Jerry kept Garrett for a decade as Garrett worked cheap and accepted the cheap players without complaining.
    McCarthy is going to learn Jerry sells sizzle, not steak.
    To aggressively sign Dak would involve a committment to actually winning . Not signing Dak leaves the Jerry era where it loves to be– controversial, in the headlines, but actually cheap.
    I am a Cowboy fan, but I am not fooled by Jerry. Check the behavior.

  3. These were by far the most intelligent well thought out posts I’ve ever read from u siempre. When u don’t spew venom and personally attack people ur football knowledge and ability to articulate it shines thru. I don’t believe the cowboys don’t wanna win, but point taken that Jerry first and foremost is about making money and keeping the cowboys highly visible.

    • Gotta disagree Gary … its laced with his usual tone and contextually spun to try to support opinion. All well and good for the exercise of posting, but there’s nothing in it to support the claim beyond some basic misunderstandings and half-truths. Anybody can do the same and prove the opposite.

      Every owner in the league is trying to create contractual obligations that they can get out of … and in most cases so too are the players … that’s not a reflection on either flawed orgranizational behavior nor unique to the Dallas franchise.

      For example, what is meant by them having spent the least in the league on players? He must be referring to free-agency? They most certainly have not been the team with the most cap space! That’s a perfect example of how folks throw “facts” out there because they know 95% of the other posters either won’t fact-check or they just don’t know better.

  4. Agree to disagree Bill and besides the point u cited and the one I did I pretty much agree with everything he said. Majority of the posts in here yours mine and everyone else in here is pure speculation and opinion backed up by often times biased stats to support one’s argument. No right or wrong here just opinions

  5. Plus I was trying to give him props for not being petty and juvenile. It’s given that some posts in here are offered by guys with excellent knowledge of the game and of the cowboys (like you) and some posts are generic due to lack of knowledge or ability to articulate. I enjoy hearing all sides and sometimes I throw something out just to play devils advocate and elicit dialogue. It’s not like we’re solving world problems here, just having a little fun. This pandemic got me bored out of my mind.

  6. Making Dak play under the tag makes a ton of sense. McCarthy gets a year to evaluate him first hand. Dallas actually has a ton of leverage. They can tag and trade him, sign him long term or let him play for $37M next year. Jerry is a gambler by nature. He hit the jackpot twice in Romo and now Dak. You don’t think he believes he can hit the trifecta? Plus look at the QB market. Just this year Brady, Rivers, Dalton, Bridgewater, Winston, Cam all signed for under $26M/year. Any or all those guys would have a field day with the offensive talent Jerry has assembled. Additionally, I’m sure he’s looked at how LA vastly overpaid Goff and does not want to be saddled with paying a good QB elite money for the next 4-5 years.

  7. Dark is a good quarterback but I don’t want someone who doesn’t want to be a cowboy long term what the Cowboys offered is a fare contract offer to me he isn’t a top ten quarterback my assessment of great quarterbacks is super bowl winners and he hasn’t won one I don’t want the same mistake that we made with Tony homo that was my nickname for him I hated him and thought his signing was a joke twice and knew he was not a leader and was not ever going to take us to the Super Bowl but I do think dak will but I don’t want someone who thinks he is better than quarterbacks who have won super bowls not top ten so don’t pay him like one also I say goodbye to someone who doesn’t want to be here I am a cowboy for life and I love players and also hate players I am starting to hate Prescott so I do hope he moves on

  8. He’s starting to be a Nuisance…..

    Given today’s (world) situation…..He’s A Fool,….

    He’s getting advice, because you negotiate from a point of leverage….


  9. Just for the fun of it I’ll play devils advocate Ben. Since all those QBs u mentioned are under contract with their respective teams how might the cowboys sign one of them? Plus all of them except the ancient Brady are considered border line journeymen and at this point in his career that includes Dalton who is on the downside of a solid career (and will be a yr older by the time he could take over for Dak next yr) Newton/ Rivers/ Winston will be available in 2021( for a reason) U think one of those three rejects would have a field day with our offense? But if u wanna roll with one of them as the QB for the cowboys OK Not sure what other QBs will be available in 2021 besides those three. I agree that Dak is being greedy but if your gonna overpay for a position QB (arguably the most important position in sports) QB would be the one to do it with. Out of all those QBs u mentioned Brady and Bridgewater are the only ones that look attractive and not surprisingly are the ones that were signed for 2 yrs or more. Dak can play for the franchise tag next yr too then hit the open market in 2022, why wouldn’t he just do that. Think our best play is to tag him next yr too (if we can’t get an attractive trade offer) giving us a 2 yr window with our talent to go for broke, then draft the best available QB in the next draft and let them start in 2021 or 2022 depending on whether Dak gets tagged again. I would also explore trade options for him next with the hope of moving possibly move into the top 5 where we might have a chance at a franchise type QB. Again not advocating that we sign Dak but any successful business must have a good contingency plan and the Cowboys are no different.

  10. I’ll ride with Newton for a 3 year term without blinking. I’d even consider Rivers for a year or two (though I think he is hugely overrated, but still about as above average as Dak), and I might even consider Winston if I was after a potential long-term answer.

    My preference would be to ride Dak for 4-5 years, but I stand firmly behind what the organization is doing. Ben’s point is that the QB market is more volatile than people think. No, you don’t just pluck a superstar from a tree and I know you believe you have to have a great QB to win a Super Bowl, but I don’t believe that. The superstar obviously makes it easier, but he’s only “required” if the rest of your team isn’t balanced and/or up-to-snuff.

    Garropplo, Goff, Kapernick, Foles, Ryan, Newton, even Dilfer and Grossman have taken teams to the Super Bowl. And those they haven’t won the game, they aren’t the reasons their teams lost.

    I don’t mean to speak on Ben’s behalf but I think you are missing his point. You don’t have to have a Top-10 pick to develop a QB. In fact Top-10 QB’s are probably a 50/50 proposition if you roll through history. The Cowboys are in the catbird seat with Dak. They get to choose how they want to handle him. Everybody is all caught up in the money, but that’s not the focus. If he can play and prove himself, they won’t have any problem paying him despite what ya fans think of it.

    If on the other hand, If this staff sees him and isn’t enamored with him, moving on from him in 2021 doesn’t mean their window to compete disappears either.

    We can play these “what if” games all we want, but until we land into March of 2021, we have no idea what the landscape will look like, and that’s truer in this year moreso than any other, perhaps in history.

  11. It seems like a lot of these posts are solidly against the Cowboys brass in terms of the fact that they are not willing to just give out large contracts every time one of their players asks for one. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not there is a salary cap that has to be dealt with. To the one readers point our spending on free agents has not been all that great, but not because of a lack of wanting to spend the money. Every year because of large contracts we are up against the cap and the team also needs to have a little bit of capital in reserve to sign players when injuries happen. The question I have is where is our return on investment for these big contracts that are being given to these supposed great players. Are they turning up the intensity and making plays when it counts in the big game with a chance to make it to the next level of the playoffs? There were a number of chances to make it to the playoffs last year and through a completely embarrassing lack of championship effort and no real game strategy the opportunity was blown . Now our players are coming back wanting top level contracts because of some stats that are worthless because they sat at home watching another playoffs on tv Lastly I thought negotiations were between 2 parties where there was some give and take on each side to get a contract done. It seems like it has been only one side that keeps throwing out offers, while the other is not making counter offers. No wonder this agent has so many players who are franchise tagged and do not have long term contracts this year.

  12. First off Rivers and Winston especially at this point of careers are garbage. So u would ride with Newton who has been pedestrian and injury prone every yr for the last several yrs. (the main reason why Carolina cut him) Goff was a #1 pick Ryan a #4 pick Dilfer a #6 pick Grossman #22 (but had an elite defense) which leaves Kapernick (who only had 1-2 good seasons) and Garrapplo who was a good find so not sure what ur point was there. If top 10 QB draft picks are a 50/50 proposition what do u think QBs out of the top 10 are? if ur rolling thru history. U have never heard me say u need a great QB to win the SB but I have said u need a very good one, which i stand by. I just don’t think any of the QBs Ben mentioned are very good ( except Bridgewater and Brady) who are signed long term. So I don’t think I missed his point at all. I think u are in the minority in thinking cowboys are in the “catbird” seat. I think Dak holds all the cards. Worst case scenario for him he plays on the tag again next yr (for a nice 38 mil) if cowboys want to and hit free agency in 2022 then he has his pick of suitors on the open market. If they sign him in 2021 they better bring the brinks truck and that kills their cap and ability to construct a quality team around him. If they move on from him they will be looking to sign a QB from the scrap heap or roll with Dalton (ouch) ( have u seen the potential FA QBs in 2021 and 2022? ) Again Not sure how cowboys are in the catbird seat there. As i previously stated I think cowboys best play is to tag him next yr again and try to win a SB in the next 2 yrs cuz when he leaves we ain’t sniffing the SB for yrs. Also think we need to draft “best available QB” in the draft next yr and begin developing him. C’mon BIll isn’t playing the “what if” game half the fun?

    • I said that my preference would be to have signed Dak (dating back to last year in fact) over the QB’s I noted. And I do think the Cowboys are in good position regarding Dak … and in fact, Dak too is in good position for himself … this was a win-win, though Dak is in the higher risk. And everyone projecting what they think it will take to sign Dak next year, is doing just that, projecting. I don’t understand how one can sit here today and say that the “best play” is to anticipate tagging him again under the guise that he’s gone after 2021, and that it’s Supoer Bowl or bust. A projection like that is short sighted, lacks creative thinking, too restrictive and even sends a bad message to the fan base that the organization can’t think its’ way out of this. Those who sit here today and say Dak has to cost $37 million next year don’t speak for Dak or the Cowboys.

  13. Daks reps are idiots. Leaving over 140 million on the table hoping Dak stays healthy makes no sense at all. They should have taken the 5 years offered by the Cowboys. Should the Cowboys win a super bowl in the first 4 year’s of the deal Jerry would renegotiate a new loaded deal to keep Dak long term. If Dak does not produce he still has a year left at 35 million. The NFL is all about what have you done for me lately not later!

  14. I guess I’m confused as to how the cowboys are in a good position. Unless Dak does a complete about face he will likely demand much more money then the cowboys can afford again next yr and this seems to be the majority opinion from most experts (which we’re not). If he gets tagged again next yr that will cost nearly 38 million (not really disputable). And if we lose him who will be our QB moving forward? Likely a mediocre FA signee. When is the last time a mediocre QB took a team far in the playoffs? I stand by my opinion that our best chance to go far in the playoffs will be while Dak is here Sorry to disappoint the fanbase with reality but it is what it is. I’m interested in hearing any “creative thinking” to the contrary. Any chance we had to sign Dak to a reasonable contract has likely passed and who knows who is at fault for that. Is it possible Dak reconsiders and gives us a hometown discount well don’t wanna be too restrictive so yea its possible. Again as I have previously stated this isn’t an endorsement to break the bank to sign Dak. Not saying the cowboys will never be good again but without a quality QB it couid be awhile.

  15. Everyone here MUST be watching a different reality with Dallas. Jerry is NO LONGER running the team. It’s his son Stephen! The days of our Boys signing great free agents like Deion our OVER. I guess everybody likes to forget Stephen choking his father after he signed Deion. Stephen likes the bargain bin and is also another reason why Dak hasn’t been since signed yet. Jerry would’ve made the Russel Wilson or D. Watson trade happen especially with Dak refusing his offer or Stephens 🙂

    Our Cowboys aren’t the same and Stephen knows his family will continue to grow wealthier REGARDLESS of if they field a SB contending team. Jerry may still long for another title but Jerry NO LONGER runs the team.

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