For the third consecutive offseason, the Dallas Cowboys and Quarterback Dak Prescott will find themselves at the negotiation table. Hopefully, third time’s the charm with the two sides as the work to a long-term contract that will make Prescott one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL. A deal will get done, the only questions remaining at this point are when and how much? And the Cowboys shouldn’t mess around to reach an agreement.
The Dallas Cowboys have played hardball each of the last two offseasons with their most important player. First, during the final year of his rookie contract, coming off a playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks it seemed that a long-term deal was imminent. The two sides couldn’t reach an agreement and Prescott played 2019 on the final year of his rookie deal.
Then a deal seemed even more likely after a 2019 season that saw him throw for a career high in yards and touchdowns. Despite an 8-8 record, Prescott had proven that he was indeed a top 5-10 passer in the NFL. However, last offseason, both sides continued to wait the other one out after the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Dak Prescott.
Though Prescott and his representatives pushed to try and get a deal done at the 11th hour in July of 2020, the two sides still weren’t able to find a deal that worked for both sides and Prescott’s franchise tag guarantee locked in for the 2020 season.
After the Cowboys’ season mercifully came to an end last Sunday, talks can resume on a long-term deal for the face of the franchise. And neither side should waste time getting a deal done.
While the debate on whether to pay Prescott and how much to pay Prescott keeps the Dallas Cowboys at the center of discussions on sports talk shows and with the media, it also serves as a potential distraction for the team as they work to retool during free agency and the draft.
As the team looks to address needs all over the defense and potentially along the offensive line, the Cowboys will need every bit of cap space to work with. Using the franchise tag when it becomes available in March doesn’t provide them any flexibility with which to work with. A long-term deal, no matter how rich can be structured in such a way to give the Cowboys more flexibility by moving the cap hit related to his guaranteed money to future years.
In a year where the salary cap could potentially be at the Collectively Bargained floor of $175 million, having flexibility is key to their offseason plans.
The Cowboys front office faces of Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones have indicated time and again that Dak Prescott is the present and the future of the organization, even as he recovers from an ankle fracture. Dak Prescott has remained consistent in his desire to play for the Dallas Cowboys for a long time to come. A deal will come to fruition, it’s only a matter of time. And to better help the Cowboys plan for this offseason, there’s no time like the present to come to terms with their star quarterback.