Last offseason, the Dallas Cowboys signed their quarterback, Dak Prescott, to the exclusive franchise tag to retain his services for the 2020 NFL regular season. They did so at a cost of $31.4 million. Ultimately, that only bought the Cowboys five games with Prescott under center.
In the team’s Week Five matchup against the New York Giants, Prescott would suffer a season-ending ankle injury that required immediate surgery to correct. And by all accounts, that surgery went well and Dak was well on his way to recovery and a swift return in 2021.
Lingering over the right ankle injury was the fact Prescott is once again scheduled to become the league’s top free agent in March. That’s something the Cowboys clearly want to avoid and could choose to use their franchise tag once again to retain their franchise passer for another season, this time at a cost of nearly $37.7 million.
And that’s exactly the plan according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. According to unnamed sources, the Cowboys will tag Prescott if a long-term deal is not agreed to before the March 9 deadline. But Rapoport and Pelissero also revealed that the 27-year old passer had an unreported second ankle procedure two months after his initial emergency surgery back in October.
According to the report, the second surgery ‘wasn’t directly related’ to Prescott’s first procedure (although it was on the same ankle) but was more about correcting some issues from past injuries and doing a bit of clean up. In fact, the second procedure is expected to accelerate his recovery.
While the news of a second procedure doesn’t expect to impact current contract negotiations between the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott, the fact he played just five games in 2020 should. And while Prescott hadn’t missed a single game in his four years prior, having two surgeries before signing what is expected to be one of the largest contracts in NFL history is worrisome.