Dak Prescott

Odds Against Dak Prescott Extension?

The Cowboys began extension talks with Dak Prescott in mid-April 2019. Fifteen months later, they have four days to finalize a deal to avoid their quarterback playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag.

While the Cowboys are not worried, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes several league sources do not expect a deal to be finalized (video link). Prescott has signed his $31.4MM franchise tender, and the Cowboys are prepared (if necessary) for their fifth-year quarterback to play the season on the tag.

Prescott has held firm on his goal of a four-year deal, as opposed to the Cowboys’ five-year preference, and nothing has transpired on this front in months. The process is expected to go to the deadline, per Fowler. This reminds of Dallas’ standoff with Dez Bryant, which ended minutes before the 2015 July deadline. Only Prescott’s position brings higher stakes for the Cowboys.

The 27-year-old passer has aimed for a deal that exceeds Russell Wilson‘s $35MM-per-year pact. While Patrick Mahomes is now attached to a $45MM-AAV deal, the Chiefs quarterback’s 10-year agreement may not have too much bearing on Prescott’s situation because of his preference for a short-term deal. That stance will limit the Cowboys’ desire to up his price, and John Clayton of the Washington Post notes Jerry Jones would still like Prescott’s price to come in below the $35MM-AAV mark.

The Cowboys have signed several members of their current core to extensions over the past two years. Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and Zack Martin all signed for more than four years. Their last known offer to Prescott was worth just more than $33MM annually, putting Prescott in the neighborhood of fellow 2016 draftees Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Prescott turned down a $33MM-per-year proposal last season.

Dallas managed to re-sign Cooper and add several defensive pieces this year, despite Prescott’s tag price going on its books in March. Prescott playing this season on the tag, however, would remind of Kirk Cousins‘ situation in Washington. The current Vikings quarterback played 2016 and ’17 on the tag before leaving Washington as a free agent in 2018. A second Prescott tag would cost the Cowboys $37.7MM next year, when the cap may either decline or remain at $198MM due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s imminent attendance impact. A third tag in 2022 would be at an untenable $54MM-plus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Status Of All 15 Tagged Players Prior to July 15 Extension Deadline

The clock is ticking for tagged players to sign extensions with their teams, per the league calendar.

July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

With less than nine days remaining until the deadline, let’s take a look at where each of the 15 tagged players stand.

Already Signed Tag

*Received transition tag (vs. franchise tag)

Haven’t Signed Tag, Won’t Hold Out

Haven’t Signed Tag, Threatening Hold Out

East Notes: Cowboys, Prescott, Patriots, Sanu

Dak Prescott is discussing a long-term deal with the Cowboys, but the patient approach could also pay off for the quarterback. As Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes, Kirk Cousins is in great shape after playing on back-to-back franchise tags with his former club. From 2018-2022, Cousins’ $150MM cash value ranks second overall in the NFL, behind only Aaron Rodgers ($150.95MM). Meanwhile, he tops the chart with his guarantees ($150MM, 100% locked in).

That fact isn’t lost on Prescott, who has rejected offers from the Cowboys in the past. His camp is currently seeking a four-year deal that would make him the league’s highest-paid player on an annual basis with upwards of $35MM per year. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are pushing for a five-year pact.

Here’s more from the East divisions (and, by that, we mean some Pats items):

  •  Mohamed Sanu is “way ahead” of the curve as he returns from ankle surgery, trainer Hilton Alexander tells Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “I would tell you he’s probably faster, quicker, leaner and in better shape now than prior to the surgery,” Alexander said. “I would say he’s way ahead of any doctor’s knowledge or prediction where he would have been at this point. Way ahead of the curve.” With a healthy Sanu – plus Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and a solid supporting cast – the Pats can stand pat at WR.
  • If the NFL salary cap is reduced next year due to a revenue decrease, it could work to the Patriots‘ advantage. As Tom Curran of NBC Sports explains, the Pats currently have $124MM committed to 55 players in 2021. If the cap falls from $198MM, most teams will be left scrambling to shed expensive contracts. The Patriots, on the other hand, would be in good shape and able to scoop up those available vets.
  • Jamal Adams wants out, but it remains to be seen whether the Jets will trade him. In a recent poll, PFR readers were split on whether Adams will stay or go.

Dak Prescott Still Wants Four-Year Deal; Cowboys Want Five-Year Deal

Dak Prescott agreed to sign his franchise tender on Sunday, but there’s still a lot of work to be done between now and the July 15 deadline. The length of the contract still needs to be ironed out, and there’s still a slight disparity in what each side wants. The Cowboys want to sign Prescott to a five-year add-on, but the quarterback continues to push for a four-year deal, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT

[RELATED: Prescott To Sign $31.4MM Franchise Tender]

Prescott’s camp is concerned that a five-year deal could turn into something longer via the franchise tag. Ideally, Prescott wants the flexibility to test the open market while he’s still in his prime years, giving him an opportunity to cash in as the salary cap increases. Prescott is pretty set on the four-year mark, so the Cowboys may ultimately have to bend in order to get a deal done before the upcoming deadline. If they can’t hash out an extension in the next few weeks, they’ll have to wait until after the 2020 season to revisit talks.

Meanwhile, Florio hears that the Cowboys have been surprised by Prescott’s resolve. The former fourth-round quarterback has spent his whole career playing on his rookie deal – other players in his position would have jumped at earlier offers. Instead, Prescott has been unwilling to settle. He understands his value as a young, quality quarterback in today’s NFL and the leverage he has. Ultimately, if the Cowboys opt to tag him again in 2021, he can make nearly $70MM over the next two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott To Sign $31.4MM Franchise Tender

Dak Prescott will sign his exclusive franchise tender by Monday, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). With that, the Cowboys quarterback will be slated to play out 2020 on a one-year, $31.4MM deal. After that, the two sides will have just a few weeks to hammer out a multi-year deal.

[RELATED: Prescott Pushing For Four-Year Deal?]

For months, we heard that Prescott was pushing for a two or three-year deal while the Cowboys were looking for a five or six-year add-on. Now, it seems like the two sides are closer than previously believed – at least, in terms of contract length. Prescott reportedly wants a four-year deal and the Cowboys would prefer a five-year arrangement.

Prescott is aiming for a deal that would pay him more than $35MM/year, enough to top Russell Wilson. That’s not exactly chump change for the Cowboys, but they’d rather lock up the QB than risk his asking price skyrocketing next year. If Prescott’s full 2020 played out like his 2019 first half, he’d be in line for untold riches next year. At that point, the Cowboys would have to give him an absolute fortune or tag him with a 20% raise over this year’s tag, for ~$37.7MM. Even in the tag scenario, it’s unlikely that Prescott would cooperate.

Under the more commonly used non-exclusive tag, other teams would have had a shot to sign Prescott to an offer sheet. Instead, the Cowboys opted for the slightly more expensive exclusive tag. Ultimately, it was a ~$5MM difference between the two.

Last year, Prescott threw for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the two-time Pro Bowler won’t turn 27 until the end of July.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Cowboys-Texans COVID-19 Results

Several players from the Cowboys and Texans tested positive for COVID-19. All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott was among this contingent. Here is the latest fallout from the Texas teams’ coronavirus exposure:

  • Monday’s report indicated the players who contracted the virus were not at team facilities. Elliott and the other players who tested positive did so after being informed they had come in contact with a person with COVID-19, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Fewer than five players comprise the group that tested positive, and Moore adds that none of these players have been at team facilities this offseason. Players who are not rehabbing injuries remain barred from teams’ headquarters.
  • Dak Prescott did not test positive, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link, via Twitter). The Cowboys quarterback came under some scrutiny earlier this offseason for hosting a birthday party with several guests during the lockdown period. But the 26-year-old passer is healthy.
  • Many Texans players are undergoing COVID-19 tests for precautionary reasons, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Texas has recorded its highest number of coronavirus cases four days running. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced in May sporting events could feature fans in stadiums — at 25% capacity. Less than two weeks ago, Abbott declared stadiums could operate at 50% capacity. It remains to be seen if the recent spike will alter the state’s plans. Both the Cowboys and Texans are slated to hold training camp in Texas.
  • The scare that hit the NFL’s Texas teams has caught the attention of coaches. One NFL head coach said the NFL needs to delay the start of the season, Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets, adding that another coach questioned the logic of playing games during the pandemic altogether. The NFL has nixed minicamps but, as of now, has training camps slated to open less than six weeks from today. The Cowboys and Steelers are scheduled to be the guinea pigs for NFL operation during the pandemic, being set to begin their respective training camps July 22.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Cowboys, Prescott

The Eagles have yet to make an offer to LeSean McCoy, but some of his teammates would like to see progress on that front.Wide receiver DeSean Jackson and offensive lineman Lane Johnson have both expressed support for a Shady signing, as Mike Kaye of NJ.com writes.

I want to see it,” Johnson said about the notion of the Birds bringing back McCoy. “You already know how I feel.”

McCoy, 32 in July, could provide veteran support behind Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Then again, he’s not the only notable running back available to the Eagles. After rejecting a one-year, $3MM offer from the Seahawks, Devonta Freeman remains a free agent, though his asking price may have to drop before the Birds get involved.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Some have argued that Dak Prescott isn’t worth the market-resetting contract he’s seeking, but Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com says the Cowboys would have a hard time replacing the quarterback. His argument, in part, centers on the Cowboys’ difficulty in identifying good young QB talent. Before Prescott fell into their laps in 2016, the Cowboys were aggressively targeting Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook, two players who have done little as pros. In 2014, Cowboys brass had to talk Jerry Jones out of chasing Johnny Manziel. Of course, they struck gold with undrafted free agent Tony Romo in 2013, but he was really the discovery of then-quarterbacks coach Sean Payton. Some have gone so far as to say that Andy Dalton could match Prescott’s production, but Barnwell isn’t buying it.
  • New Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith bulked up in advance of his NFL return (via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer). The former Pro Bowler says he “feels great” at 285 pounds, which is roughly 15 pounds heavier than his previous playing weight. In May, the NFL reinstated Smith, clearing the way for him to start fresh in Dallas.
  • The Giants could use an edge rusher, but they won’t make a late run at Jadeveon Clowney.
  • New 49ers tackle Trent Williams says he was legitimately ready and eager to play for the Redskins last season.

Latest On Cowboys, Dak Prescott

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).

[RELATED: Latest On Cowboys’ Randy Gregory]

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Dak Prescott, Cowboys

The Cowboys have until July 15th to hammer out a new deal with Dak Prescott. Apparently, they’re not all that close to an agreement. So far, the talks have consisted of the Cowboys pushing for a longer deal and the quarterback gunning for a shorter contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

There’s little doubt that Prescott’s next deal will make him a very, very rich man. However, Schefter’s report indicates that there’s no truth to a recent rumor that made the rounds on Wednesday. The internet was buzzing with talk of a five-year, $175MM offer for the quarterback, but there was apparently no truth to those rumors. According to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, the Cowboys have an offer on the table that would make Prescott the league’s second-highest player in terms of average annual value (behind Seahawks star Russell Wilson and his $35MM AAV). That jibes with what we heard several months ago, when it was reported that Dallas had offered a contract with an AAV of about $33.5MM during the scouting combine (though that proposal didn’t gain much traction).

Currently, Prescott is slated to earn ~$31.4MM in 2020, per the terms of the franchise tag. If they can’t come to terms on an extension by July 15th, they’ll have to wait until after the season to restart talks. There’s clear mutual interest in a multi-year arrangement, but Prescott wants a shorter deal so that he can cash in all over again with youth on his side. The Cowboys, meanwhile, want a longer deal that won’t completely break the bank.

There’s all sorts of analytics out there that show if your quarterback takes up too big a percentage of your salary cap, it decreases your chances to win,” COO Stephen Jones said recently. “We’re just trying to figure out the right fit. No one wants to sign Dak to a longer term deal more than Jerry and myself. We’re on the record time and time again on what we think of him as a leader. He has the ‘it’ factor. He’s a fierce competitor. He wants to win as well, and it’s just gotta be right for him and right for us.”

Prescott, a two-time Pro Bowler, threw for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2019. He’s seeking a deal that would make him the league’s highest-paid quarterback, vaulting him ahead of Wilson. But as a source tells ESPN’s Ed Werder, the two sides are close enough on dollars that a long-term deal by July 15 is in reach (Twitter link). If they can agree on the length of the contract, this matter could come together quickly.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Smith, Cowboys, Prescott

With graphic details and graphic images, ESPN.com’s Elizabeth Smith and Stephania Bell bring us the story of Alex Smith‘s gruesome injury and his road to recovery.

“Our first priority is we’re going to save his life,” a hospital worker said to Alex’s wife, Elizabeth, just days after the injury. “And then we’re going to do our best to save his leg. And anything beyond that is a miracle.”

Smith said that he feels “very much lucky to be alive” after the horrific injury and ensuing sepsis infection. And, after celebrating his 36th birthday in May, the Redskins quarterback is working towards an NFL return. Mrs. Smith, meanwhile, is conflicted.

When I think about Alex returning to football, there’s part of me that wants him to do whatever he has the inner drive to do. If that means stepping back on the football field and throwing on those pads, then I want him to prove that to himself. But obviously there’s part of me asking, “‘Is it worth ever doing that again? Do you know what we just went through?'”

Here’s more on the Redskins, the Redskins’ quarterback situation, and the rest of the NFC East:

  • Talk of Tua Tagovailoa going to the Redskins didn’t bother starter Dwayne Haskins.“Throughout the whole process Ron [Rivera] was just telling me to trust him,” Haskins said (via JP Finlay of NBC Sports). “I did so it worked out.” The Redskins were long expected to take Chase Young with the No. 2 pick, but there were Tua rumblings on draft week. Ultimately, they took the Ohio State edge rusher and passed on the Alabama star.
  • If the Cowboys can’t work out an extension with Dak Prescott by July 15th, they’ll have to wait until after the 2020 season to resume negotiations. That deadline puts some serious pressure on the team to get something done with their beloved QB, but COO Stephen Jones says he won’t break the budget. “There’s all sorts of analytics out there that show if your quarterback takes up too big a percentage of your salary cap, it decreases your chances to win,” Jones said (via PFT). “We’re just trying to figure out the right fit. No one wants to sign Dak to a longer term deal more than Jerry and myself. We’re on the record time and time again on what we think of him as a leader. He has the ‘it’ factor. He’s a fierce competitor. He wants to win as well, and it’s just gotta be right for him and right for us.”
  • The Cowboys are feeling really, really good about their Day 2 and Day 3 haul in the draft, Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. Before the draft, they had a “high-second-round” grade on cornerback Trevon Diggs – they landed him at No. 51 overall. They assigned a second-round grade to defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, and snagged him in the third. In the fourth round, they see yet another steal – the scouting department gave center Tyler Biadasz a high-third-round score and snagged him with the last pick of the fourth round. Time will tell, but the Cowboys are doing cartwheels over their 2020 middle-round choices.
  • Carlos Hyde, who racked up 1,000+ yards rushing in Houston last year, is still available. The Eagles are interested, but they only want him at the right price.
  • Recently, the Giants reworked Cooper Rush‘s contract to dial down his base pay but also give him a chunk of guaranteed money. That may bode well for his odds of making the roster, but he’s got lots of competition.