The Cowboys have placed exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). This move means that no other team will be allowed to negotiate with him, which has pros and cons for the QB.
Under the traditional non-exclusive tag, Prescott would have been able to talk with other clubs that would potentially be willing to cough up a pair of first-round picks for the right to sign him. On the flipside, the exclusive tag would pay Prescott at the average of the league’s top-five salaries for the 2020 season. With the non-exclusive tag, it would have been the top-five average of last year.
The non-exclusive tag would have come at $26.8MM. With the exclusive version, the number should be somewhere around $31.6MM.
The Cowboys’ long-term negotiations with Prescott have been going on for some time and there was talk just before the season that the two sides were nearing a deal. Since then, the Cowboys haven’t made much progress in bridging the gap, though Jerry Jones & Co. have said repeatedly that they would keep him, one way or another.
With Prescott cuffed for the 2020 season, the Cowboys will turn their attention to finalizing a long-term deal with star receiver Amari Cooper. A new deal for Cooper won’t come cheap, though the depth of this year’s WR class in the draft may work to the Cowboys’ favor. Teams, in theory, could keep a lid on their offers with an eye on finding cheaper and younger receiving talent in April. Cooper’s camp is acutely aware of this scenario – even if they won’t admit it publicly.
In 2019, Cooper registered 79 receptions for 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 10 receiver in the NFL. Meanwhile, Prescott threw for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns and turned in an electric first half to the season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.