July 15 was the deadline for NFL teams to sign their franchise tagged players to long term deals. That came and went without Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys agreeing to a contract.
Prescott will play on the franchise tag for $31.4 million. That is a rarity for a quarterback, with the most recent major example being Kirk Cousins' years-long standoff with Washington. He eventually cashed in on a big deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
He and the Cowboys could not come to an agreement on the number of years in the deal, per reports. Prescott wants a four-year deal, allowing him to sign another major deal in the middle of his prime. Dallas reportedly offered him a five-year deal worth between $33 and $35 million per season, which would make him a very highly-paid signal caller. In the wake of the Patrick Mahomes deal, however, the market has been somewhat reset, though Mahomes is in a league of his own thanks to his incredible talent and age.
DeMarcus Ware is one of the greatest players in recent Dallas Cowboys history. The retired defensive end made seven of his nine Pro Bowls with the team, which he played for from 2006-12, before finishing his career with the Denver Broncos. He joined The Herd to discuss the Dak Prescott contract issue today.
"When you're the franchise quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, no matter if it was (Tony) Romo, if it was (Drew) Bledsoe, and so on and so forth, everybody's gotten paid," Ware told Colin Cowherd. "And you're part of that...etching your name in that Dallas Cowboys star for five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 years, so you want to make sure your money is stable when that happens. So, I just think that Dak being franchised is going to create a lot of talk this season, but hopefully everything goes well and he stays focused."
Like Cousins and Drew Brees before him, Prescott is betting on himself. Both of those players went on to new franchises after, with Brees leaving the San Diego Chargers for the New Orleans Saints after being tagged in 2005. Letting a player walk like that, after potentially straining the relationship with him by not landing on a long term deal, is a significant risk for the Cowboys here.
“I’m a Cowboy and couldn’t be happier,” Dak Prescott told USA TODAY after the July 15 deadline passed. “I look forward to working along Coach McCarthy, the staff, and my teammates to be the best team we can be in pursuit to our goal of a Super Bowl."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 22, 2020