The Cowboys and Dak Prescott might not be as far apart as previously believed. For months, we’ve been hearing that Prescott is aiming for a two or three-year deal while the Cowboys wanted something more traditional – likely five or six years. Instead, the quarterback is seeking a four-year deal while the Cowboys are pitching five years, according to one source who spoke with Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News (on Twitter).
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the previous talk of Prescott wanting a two or three year deal was inaccurate. It’s possible that the current climate has changed Prescott’s views on potential open market upside versus long-term security. With a longer contract, Prescott can secure more in effective guarantees as well as guaranteed dollars at signing. Either way, it now seems like the Cowboys and their franchise QB are inching closer to a deal as the July 15th deadline approaches. They might not be on the same page, but they’re at least on the same chapter.
Prescott reportedly (and, naturally) wants to top Russell Wilson‘s league-leading $35MM average annual value. The Cowboys are hoping to hold the line and retain him at a lower rate, but any multi-year deal will have to wind up in that ballpark. If they can’t come to terms before the mid-June deadline, Prescott will earn $31.4MM in 2020 while remaining on course for free agency in ’21.
The Cowboys could franchise tag Prescott all over again next year, but that would leave them perilously thin everywhere else. Next year’s tag would call for a 20% raise over this year’s tag, which comes out to about $37.7MM. A third tag? That’d be a 44% jump – more than $54MM.
If the Cowboys want to stay in business with Prescott for the long haul, they’ll have to get something done sooner rather than later. And, if they can’t come to terms in the next few weeks, they’ll risk Prescott’s price jumping astronomically.
The latest news indicates that the Cowboys will hash things out by 6/15. History also suggests that a deal will get done. As Ed Werder of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter), seven of the league’s last ten franchise-tagged quarterbacks have agreed to multi-year deals before the deadline.
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