DeMarcus Lawrence recently nudged the Dallas Cowboys to pay franchise-tagged quarterback Dak Prescott. The team, heeding the call, wants it done sooner rather than later (but perhaps not “imminently“).
Multiple reports emerged Wednesday stating the Cowboys have re-opened contract negotiations with Prescott. Local and national insiders piggy-backed off a “whisper” from Yahoo Sports fantasy writer Liz Loza, who claimed the sides are “close” to a four-year agreement worth $35 million annually.
“#Cowboys front office source says they have made recent progress with QB Dak Prescott, including recent visits and a new offer from the Cowboys is on the table,” WFAA’s Mike Leslie tweeted, clarifying Dallas “met” Prescott remotely, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Source: The #Cowboys have resumed contract negotiations with Dak Prescott for the first time since using the exclusive franchise tag on him,” ESPN’s Ed Werder tweeted. “A team source said the #NFL currently shows a $26.8M charge to the cap for Prescott even though he has not signed the franchise tender.”
That they’ve resumed discussions is encouraging, especially after a bout of radio silence, but the overall sticking point remains the same: length. Prescott prefers a four-year pact, giving him the opportunity to re-test the market before he turns 30, while the Cowboys are shooting for a five-year solution — standard operating procedure when extending current players.
“When you start seeing Dak Prescott connected to a 4-year deal for $35 per, @LizLoza_FF was the first on that,” Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson tweeted. “I’ve also been told by a source that the #Cowboys are still pushing five years. Question is who wants this deal done worse (and the answer to that question is Dallas).”
The Cowboys reportedly floated two offers to Prescott’s camp, once during the 2019 season and once following last month’s NFL Scouting Combine. The first proposal would have netted the two-time Pro Bowler $33 million per year, with $105 million guaranteed. The second supposedly was in the $33.5 million-per-year range, likely eclipsing Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff.
Long embroiled in slow-rolling and infrequently contentious talks, Dallas applied the exclusive franchise tag to Prescott on March 16, as expected. The tag, which prohibits him from speaking with outside teams, is valued at approximately $33 million for 2020. If it’s signed, he’d earn the most money in a single season by any player in franchise history.
As it stands, the Cowboys have until July 15 to ink Prescott to a long-term deal.
The 2016 fourth-round pick put a bow atop his rookie pact — receiving “just” $2.025 million for his effort — with a career season in 2019, throwing for 4,902 yards, one shy of the club’s single-season record, and spearheading the league’s top-ranked offense in yards per game and second-best aerial attack.
A report earlier this offseason revealed Prescott is pushing to surpass Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who’s on the books for a league-high $35 million in average annual value. Wilson inked a four-year, $140 million ($107 million guaranteed) megadeal in April 2019.
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