The Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott fail to agree to a long-term deal
For the first time in franchise history, the Dallas Cowboys will have a starting quarterback playing on the franchise tag. After failing to agree on a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline, Dak Prescott will now play the 2020 season on a one-year contract in Dallas worth $31.4 million.
The Cowboys’ brass and Prescott’s representatives elected to stay in their respective corners over the past few months, as each side apparently refused to budge although there were some reported talks as the deadline to get a new contract done passed on Wednesday. The two sides have been negotiating for more than a year now as the 2019 season represented the final year on Dak’s rookie deal.
Set to hit free agency this past March, the Cowboys used the exclusive franchise tag to retain Prescott’s rights for the upcoming season. Dak did not actually sign that tag until late last month, securing the fact he will be under center for America’s Team this upcoming season and squashing any speculation of a possible holdout.
Prescott is coming off his best statistical year as a professional. The second of two fourth-round selections by the Cowboys back in 2016 posted career-highs in passing attempts (596), completions (388), passing yards (4,902), touchdowns (30), and yards per passing attempt (8.2).
While the Cowboys led the NFL in total offensive yardage in 2019 (6,904), which was due in large part to Prescott and the team’s second-ranked passing offense, Dallas only managed to squeeze out an 8-8 record. Missing out on a chance to secure the divisional crown in the final two weeks of the regular season, the Cowboys opted to part ways with longtime head coach Jason Garrett soon after.
Dak Prescott goes 8-8 despite facing questionable competition in 2019
This was despite America’s Team facing questionable competition with six of the Cowboys’ eight victories coming against teams that ended up selecting in the top five of the 2020 NFL Draft. Those four teams included the 3-13 Washington Redskins (twice), the 4-12 New York Giants (twice), the 3-12-1 Detroit Lions, and the 5-11 Miami Dolphins.
In a pivotal matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, Prescott would struggle to complete 25 of his 44 passes (56.82) for 265 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. That lackluster performance as well as others during his four-year career has undoubtedly given the Cowboys some pause about just how much of their dwindling salary cap they wish to invest in the soon-to-be 27-year old passer.
Both the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott will now be forced to put any future negotiations about a possible long-term deal on hold. This means fans may have to endure yet another offseason full of contract speculation that could once again end with the franchise tag being used on Prescott, which would cost the Cowboys a whopping $37.7 million in 2021.