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Expect Movement on Cowboys Contracts over the Next Week or Two

If deadlines make deals and certain soft deadlines are approaching, it stands to reason that the Dallas Cowboys will start making significant progress on deals for the free agents they hope to bring back in the next week or two.

They have stated their interest in bringing back Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Robert Quinn, and Randall Cobb. With likely just one tag available to them this offseason (the transition tag likely won’t be available as a new collective bargaining agreement is imminent), the Cowboys have some work to do if they want to get some of these players locked up as the first of the two deadlines approaches on March 12th.

The NFL has also stated that if a new CBA hasn’t been reached by March 12th, the NFL would play the 2020 season under the current CBA. That would allow them to have both the franchise and the transition tag available to them, however, the transition tag would evaporate as soon as a new collective bargaining agreement comes to fruition.

During the negotiations, believing a deal was imminent the NFL announced the deadline to utilize the franchise tag would be pushed back to March 12th from its original March 10th deadline. For the Cowboys specifically, that gives them a week to get their ducks in a row before they have to place the franchise tag on Quarterback Dak Prescott, which is their plan. Using the tag on Prescott means the Cowboys would run the risk of watching Robert Quinn, Amari Cooper, and Randall Cobb enter free agency, each coming off of seasons that could see them with a sizeable market in the free agency landscape.

If the tag is placed on Prescott, the Cowboys would have just under a week to work out deals with the players they want to bring back before they’re able to explore their worth in free agency. That’s why it’s so important to have one of Prescott or Cooper finalized come March 12th. Knocking out one of the contracts for one of their offensive centerpieces before the franchise tag deadline gives them more flexibility as they work through negotiations in the final days of the pre-free agency period of the offseason.

One thing that has hindered some of the movement is that both sides are waiting to see if the latest collective bargaining agreement will receive enough votes from the general membership of the NFLPA to pass. A new collective bargaining agreement could mean a drastic increase to the salary cap, with some projecting it could increase as much as $40 million over the next two years.

NFL teams want to see what the projection is with a new CBA because it helps them plan their spending better. Players and agents want to see what the new salary cap is likely to become because they can continue to demand similar cuts of the salary cap pie, which would be more lucrative contracts for the league’s most valuable players.

Allowing Amari Cooper and/or Robert Quinn to hit free agency could mean their departure in free agency as teams with ample salary cap space could money-whip them away from the Dallas Cowboys. That sets March 12th as a deadline to get some of these deals done if their plan is to use the franchise tag on Prescott to get more time come to a long-term agreement with their franchise quarterback.

There’s a lot that’s up in the air at this point, but with the March 12th deadline just a week away, expect some movement toward deals. Even if they’re not finalized, getting to the negotiation table over the next week — before the tag deadline — and also before free agency opens on March 18th is paramount to the Cowboys roster-building goals. To accomplish the things the Dallas Cowboys want to accomplish this offseason, the time is coming for them to make a significant push to lock up two of Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Robert Quinn to provide them with the flexibility they need with their franchise tag.

What do you think?


Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. I think we sign Dak and Quinn and let Cooper go sign Dez to a one year contract or Emanuel Sanders if it’s reasonable and draft one of these great wideouts in the first round.

    • I think they get Cooper back. It would have been a waste of a first-round pick to only have the player for a year and a half.

      While I love Dez, going from Cooper to Dez would be a downgrade at the position.

  2. Dak is NOT THE FUTURE of the Dallas Cowboys, he is AVERAGE at best. 25 years and counting, and counting, and counting, all because Jerry and son know nothing about talent and how to keep good talent. Prescott was a “ one year wonder”, and he will continue to struggle for years to come. He has a weak arm, is inaccurate, and cannot read a defense….his audibles are horrendous. They should have offered Dak and their first round pick to the Bengals, then they could have gotten a “franchise QB”. Remember the mistake they made with Zeke, and how that turned out, it will be the same results after signing Dak, unfortunately. Lose Byron and Amari, and I see another “typical” Jerry Jones season, 7-9….maybe 8-8 with any breaks at all.

    • He is the future.

      It isn’t just Jerry and Stephen. It’s WIll McClay and Mike McCarthy (who knows way more about quarterbacking than anyone else in the organization). McCarthy’s stated that Dak Prescott is a quarterback that can lead them to a Super Bowl.

      • Everyone knows Jerry makes personnel decisions, McCarthy knows he has to coach the players Jerry gives him. What is he suppose to say? Look what happened to Parcells when they disagreed on Terrell Owens.

    • Look no further than the New York Jets loss. My father in law loved it. The Jets had their second string on the field at the end of the game.

  3. You obviously know nothing about football. Ive watched every game the cowboys have played for over 40 years. And Dak is an excellent QB… look at his stats since hes been in the league …. they are top
    5 in almost every category! And he hasnt missed any games! Unlike most other QB’s in the league who are constantly hurt. He is always availabe to play… arm strength is solid…not the biggest arm in league but very solid…. his accuracy is actually still improving each year…but he rarely throws interceptions.
    And all of this without any real wide reciever talent until Cooper this year! Witten shouldve retired 2 or 3 years ago…. but his buddy Garret and Jones made sure he got plenty of balls thrown his way. Now that The Clapper is gone and a whole new coaching staff in place…. offense and defense should be better in a year or 2…. but yes I’d take Dak over all but maybe 3 – 5 QB’s in the league not just because of talent but he also is a natural born leader on the field and everyone who plays with him love and respect his leadership abilities! One of the most important traits for an NFL QB…. he checks all the boxes.

  4. No disrespect to Dak. He is a great quarterback- but he will N. E. V. E. R. E. V. E. R. get Dallas to a Super Bowl. Even the first rough years of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman started to show improvement while Dak is moving in the opposite direction just like Romo. Good – better – turned into Glassman. Jerry has to find a quarterback that doesn’t break down in simple games. And can win the big ones. Dak just isn’t that guy. The New York Jets found that out with their second string players.

    • Are you serious right now? I’m really confused by your post. First you say Dak is a great quarterback and then you say he will never get Dallas to a Super Bowl. You argue that Dak is trending downward when everything, literally everything is trending up for Dak. He just had the best season of his career in 2019 and will only continue to get better. He’s a far better player now than he was in his rookie season. Also, Mike McCarthy wouldn’t have signed on to be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys if he didn’t believe that Dak Prescott wasn’t a Super Bowl-winning caliber quarterback.

      • And they went 8-8. His stats are skewed playing against terrible competition first 3 games this season and then playing from behind and having to throw and grabbing yardage when it didn’t really matter but when it’s time to make the big time throws when they count throwing behind on slants or post patterns, not seeing wide open receivers standing in the middle of the field and this is all the time. He’s a 4th round pick that has exceeded expectations. Stats aren’t everything. And Sean he’s also had arguably the one of the best offensive lines in the NFL since he’s been in the league. Lets see him play for a team that has to run for his life half the game. Give me a break on not being injured.

        • He threw them back into games.

          The first three years, Dak was part of a team that went to the playoffs, but was always undervalued because he hadn’t thrown for 4,000 yards or 30 touchdowns. Well now he has.

          The problem is the way the got conservative on the road against the Saints, Pats, Eagles.

  5. Is Dak better than Trent Dilfer or Joe Flacco? Both of them won Superbowls because they had great coaching, defenses, and systems around them. Dak has not had those things in his career. Put the right pieces around him and he most certainly could lead us to one.

    • that is a terrible comparison since Dilfer and Joe played for two of the best defenses ever. Dilfers defense only allowed and I’m not looking but when I did before around 10 points a game and would’ve been lower if they didn’t give up 38 or something like that during the season. So sorry Brandon Dak would win behind any defense like that for sure and not have to do anything. Kind of like the Seahawks when there average field position was the 50 yard line. Even though they didn’t win the superbowl. Just saying. Don’t use that comparison.

    • Dak has shown in every occasion when 1 of his 6 pro bowlers was injured he could not elevate his team. How many times did we hear they lost cause Zeke was suspended, or they have no number 1 receiver, Cooper was not 100% or tyron smith was out of the line up. Always excuses. Brady won 12 games with 1 pro bowler and no number one receiver, no tight end, no running game.

      • Now you’re comparing Dak Prescott (4 years of NFL experience) with the greatest quarterback of all-time who has now played almost 20 years in the NFL. That’s not a good-faith argument.

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