The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly offered Dak Prescott a new contract that would make the quarterback one of the highest-paid players in the NFL. The Dallas Morning News reported Friday that owner Jerry Jones is offering the star QB $33 million per year, and $105 million guaranteed. It remains unclear as to how many seasons would be covered by the rumored contract, though it appears the deal would last through at least the ’22-’23 season.
A similar contract was offered to Prescott in September, but he apparently refused it. The differences between this offer and the previous one remain unclear.
If Prescott signs the deal, he would be the second-highest paid quarterback behind Seattle’s Russell Wilson. Wilson signed a four-year extension worth $140 million, $107 of which is guaranteed.
Prescott could be angling for a deal better than the one Wilson signed. His agent met with management twice during the recent NFL Combine.
Cowboys’ Options if Prescott Nixes Deal
If Prescott doesn’t take the deal, the Cowboys can tag the fourth-year player with the exclusive franchise player designation. The team would have just three days to make that decision, since the deadline for assigning franchise players is March 12. Free agency begins four days after that.
Ironically, Prescott would be paid about the same as the proposed contract, but just for one year. The exclusive tag is worth the average of the top five salaries for the current year, about $33 million.
Prescott had his best year as a Cowboy last season. He threw for a career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns. Dallas, however, failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018. The team’s 8-8 record was their worst since Prescott took over at quarterback in 2016.
Even before the season began, Jones was eager to sign Prescott. The drama surrounding head coach Jason Garrett clouded that goal. Garrett had been rumored to be fired, and eventually was at the end of the season.
CBA Muddying Dallas’ Decisions
Complicating this deal even further is the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. The league is trying to put a new CBA in place, but has experienced some push back from players. Agents don’t want to negotiate new deals until an agreement is in place, especially if an additional game is placed on the schedule, as is currently being proposed.
Jones expressed his frustration about the CBA at the NFL Combine, telling reporters it has hampered personnel decisions.
“I do have a keen sense that we’ve got some decisions with just the Cowboys,” Jones said. “We have, for this year going forward without an agreement, we have decisions we’re contemplating making right now as though we don’t have an agreement.”
Other Cowboys Affected
Prescott’s contract isn’t the only one that needs to be completed. Other players are in limbo until his future is finalized.
The biggest issue, other than Prescott, is wide receiver Amari Cooper. Dallas would like to sign Prescott, thus reserving the franchise tag for Cooper. He, along with Michael Gallup, give Dallas two potent targets for Precott to throw to.
The Cowboys’ other free agent is cornerback Byron Jones, considered to be the best member of the Dallas secondary. Jones is reportedly asking for $16 million per year, which may be too high a price for Dallas. If they can get contracts for Prescott and Cooper, then they could use the franchise tag for Jones. That, however, seems unlikely, and Jones could be on another roster for the 2020 season.