The Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott haven’t figured out a solution to the quarterback’s soon-to-be-expiring contract. Yet.
Perhaps the best way to make both sides happy is to wait a while on that long-term contract.
In a rundown of quarterback rumors from the NFL scouting combine last week, ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler cited a source that said Prescott “might prefer to do a shorter-term deal” with the team.
That makes some sense for both sides.
Does Dak Prescott want a shorter deal?
The Cowboys aren’t going to let Prescott walk. He’ll either get an extension or the franchise tag before the deadline. That doesn’t seem to be in any doubt.
But with Prescott reportedly walking away from a $33 million per year deal last season, it gets complicated. The collective-bargaining agreement is going to change, somehow, and soon. With new TV deals coming, revenue will go up again. Prescott might not want to get tied into a five- or six-year deal if the salary cap will keep going up. He might be right that $33 million per year isn’t enough.
But there is a model for this kind of quandary, and it’s Kirk Cousins. Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018. It was fully guaranteed. If Prescott were to sign a three-year, fully-guaranteed deal, he’d be able to hit free agency again right before he turns 30 years old. He’d have financial security from a fully-guaranteed deal and get to see where the market goes by 2023.
But would the Cowboys want that?
What will Cowboys do?
The longer the Cowboys wait, the more they’ll have to pay Prescott. The quarterback market is not going to go down.
Prescott is coming off a 4,902-yard, 30-touchdown season. He has proven to be a fine starting quarterback. Perhaps he’s not Patrick Mahomes, but he’s clearly in a good tier right below transcendent players like Mahomes.
The Cowboys are going to stick with Prescott until his play falls off. It’s not like upgrades are available. If they’re wary of making him the highest paid player in NFL history — and that’s the path this negotiation seems to be on, unless Mahomes signs an extension first — at least the Cowboys would only be on the hook for three years if they go with the Cousins model. And Jerry Jones has the cash to pay Prescott a short, guaranteed deal. Even if the bill might be higher in 2023.
None of this has happened yet, and it might not. There’s no clear resolution to the situation yet, and all options are still on the table for both sides. The Cowboys aren’t letting Prescott go. It’s just a matter of figuring out a way for both sides to come away feeling good.
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