In a season filled with disappointment and let down, Dak Prescott was able to show some grit for the Dallas Cowboys. Despite the face that he was still playing under his rookie contract, he still play hard and almost threw for 5,000 yards. Now the Cowboys have some decisions to make in terms of either signing Prescott long term or franchise tag him.
The team could make arguments for both sides as either option will result in Prescott getting a lot more money. A potential issue lies with if they would be okay with upsetting Prescott with the tag or risking the fact that he will come back no matter what.
Option One: Long Term Contract
This is the option that Prescott, the team, and fans want to come out of the situation. There is confidence from both sides that a deal will get done eventually.
“I’m wondering the same thing,” Prescott told Yahoo! Sports’ Kimberley Martin in an interview. “Y’all know just as much as me. Love when that day comes. But I have confidence in my agency, my agents, my team. I have confidence in the Cowboys. Something will get done.”
“We want to get this done,” Cowboys VP Stephen Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Things are fixing to heat up. We want to put every foot forward and try to grind this out and get a deal done.”
The speculation is the Cowboys had offered Prescott $33 million per year at one point and he said no. Prescott could be looking to get in the Carson Wentz range at around $35 million or hit as much as $40 million.
In his four year NFL career, Prescott has passed for 15,778 yards and 97 touchdowns with only 37 interceptions. He had a career high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns last season. In two postseason appearances, he has recorded a 1-2 record. The numbers show he’s earned the contract. The issue is without a meaningful postseason appearance, the Cowboys may have an argument to tag him.
Option Two: Franchise Tag
This is the one that can be a bit sticky for the Cowboys. February 25th is the first day that teams can place a franchise tag on one of their players on their rosters. If the tag is used on Dak, it could be used as a place holder for him to get paid until a deal can be done. It could also show that the team is not 100 percent behind him. That’s a problem.
With new head coach Mike McCarthy coming in, it will be important for players like Prescott to join voluntary mini-camp to learn the offense. There’s a good chance Prescott doesn’t go under the tag to make a statement. Hard feelings could be met should the tag be used.
Prescott could see a $26.9 million tender and have to use that as his one year contract until the mid-July deadline of getting a long term deal done.
We saw it with Kirk Cousins getting franchise tagged for several straight years in Washington before getting a long term deal with Minnesota. Prescott has to hope the same doesn’t happen to him.