In negotiations, whether it be for an item you find at a garage sale, attempting to get your kid to eat green beans, or signing your franchise quarterback to a long-term extension, is about who will blink first. As soon as one side gives an indication that they're ready to bend, the other side of the negotiation table can take advantage and get terms more appealing to their side.
When it comes to Dak Prescott's long-term contract extension, both his representatives and the Dallas Cowboys have been very patient in agreeing to terms. As Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger reset the quarterback market, Dak and the Cowboys played the waiting game. In particular, they waited to see what would happen with the other two franchise quarterbacks from the 2016 NFL Draft; Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.
Yesterday, it was announced that the Philadelphia Eagles and Quarterback Carson Wentz have agreed to a four-year extension that will keep him under team control through the 2024 season. After the Eagles picked up his fifth-year rookie option this offseason, they had control through 2020.
With Wentz now setting the market for that first post-rookie contract at $32 million per year and $107 million guaranteed over the life of the deal, Dak Prescott and his representatives now have a hard number from a contemporary of Prescott with which to work within negotiations. It's been speculated that Prescott would likely come in around $30 million per year on his next deal, but with Wentz hitting $32 million per year, Prescott and his representatives could push for more.
It's pretty easy to make a case that Prescott has had a better career thus far than Carson Wentz and he's definitely been more durable than the Eagles signal caller. In each of the last two seasons, Carson Wentz has suffered season-ending injuries. In those seasons, the Eagles relied upon now Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback to lead them to the playoffs, including that miracle run to the Super Bowl in 2017. Dak has started 51 games in his career and has been to the playoffs twice.
Carson Wentz may have a better passing yardage per game and more passing touchdowns than Dak Prescott in fewer games, but he also has more interceptions than Prescott does in fewer games. Prescott's 18 rushing touchdowns can't be ignored either while averaging a full yard per carry more than Wentz in their three seasons in the NFL.
Prescott has posted a better completion percentage and quarterback rating in their respective careers. If you want to look at yards per attempt and air yards per attempt, Prescott has Wentz beat on those numbers as well.
Not only has Prescott had more regular season success than Carson Wentz, but he's also had more postseason success as well. Though Dak is 1-2 in the playoffs, he's played well and had the Cowboys in position to win the games they lost only to fall short. Those early career playoff setbacks can be formative for a young player. Armed with that experience, he knows what to expect in a playoff atmosphere and will only be better the next time out.
When the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott's representatives meet back at the negotiation table, this Carson Wentz contract is going to be a huge talking point. At least on Dak's side of things. Prior to Wentz signing his extension, everyone was sort of guessing at what Dak Prescott's value would be as the Cowboys franchise quarterback.
Though Prescott and the Cowboys have been slowly working to an extension, neither side wanting to give too much in the negotiation, this development favors Prescott in those talks. As a front office, sometimes it's better to let someone else set the market on a player you are unsure that you're going to bring back. Much like the Cowboys did with Cole Beasley. However, when it's a player you have every intention of being a part of your long-term plans, it's better to get them locked up a little early than a little late. For example, DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Dallas Cowboys front office took a gamble on what the quarterback market would be for Dak Prescott and his contemporaries, and the Philadelphia Eagles did them no favors with Carson Wentz's contract.
Because Dak Prescott is likely to be the next big name from the 2016 quarterback class to get his deal, there's a very real possibility that the average annual salary will come in higher than the $32 million per year that Wentz received.
That's the way the quarterback market goes. Up. For Dak Prescott, taking his time to negotiate his contract extension will pay off big for him.
And for the Dallas Cowboys.