Looking ahead on the Dallas Cowboys 2020 schedule, November 22nd stands out as a potential swing game for NFC playoff positioning. That date is with the Minnesota Vikings, led by a quarterback who has been in Dak Prescott’s shoes before.
Kirk Cousins was franchise tagged by the Washington Redskins…twice. He gambled on himself both times, and won big with a lucrative (and fully guaranteed) contract from the Vikings prior to the 2018 season, leaving the Redskins with nothing in the end.
Like Prescott, Cousins was a late round pick who had to prove himself multiple times on the NFL level (though Prescott has been better than Cousins through his first four seasons). And, like Prescott, Cousins was not exactly rewarded by the team which drafted him.
Cousins spoke to ESPN during the league’s schedule release last Thursday night, providing some interesting advice for Dak Prescott.
“And so my message to Dak, when I saw him midseason last year, was hey, whatever happens, don’t be afraid of the tag, it can be your friend and you can use it to your advantage.”
Ultimately, the franchise tag did end up rewarding Kirk Cousins. But that doesn’t mean Prescott should give in to the Cowboys demands.
Reportedly, the holdup between Prescott and the Cowboys are the number of years he’ll sign for, with Dallas insisting he takes a five year deal where Prescott would rather give himself another chance to cash in down the road.
Neither side is necessarily wrong here, though the Cowboys should just cut the check for their franchise quarterback in the end. The organization is worried about deviating from their five-plus year standards (see: Zack Martin, Ezekiel Elliott, etc.) but the quarterback market is a whole different animal.
Regardless, given the comparisons between the two situations, I wonder how much weight Prescott puts into Kirk Cousins’ words here. We won’t know just how far the team and the player are from each other until July, when we meet the franchise tag deadline prior to the season.