Cowboys Named Among Shortlist of Favorites to Land Tom Brady

Tom Brady vs. Cowboys

Getty Tom Brady vs. Cowboys

Unless and until they lock down Dak Prescott, an impending free agent who’s hinted at a contractual holdout, the Dallas Cowboys will continue being dot-connected to available quarterbacks.

And Tom Brady tops the list.

Despite the team’s admitted disinterest in the future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, Las Vegas oddsmakers have different designs, grouping the Cowboys among six favorites for Brady’s services.

Dallas was given 9/1 odds to sign the longtime Patriots field general, who, like Prescott, is scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency on March 18 for the first time in his illustrious career. The Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts were also designated at 9/1.

Heading the frontrunners are the Las Vegas Raiders (3/1), followed by the Los Angeles Chargers (4/1), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7/1).

Vegas appears to be going off news from Sunday, including a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter which stated the Raiders will pursue Brady if he doesn’t re-sign with New England. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Chargers “have emerged as a legitimate option for Brady.”

Of course, this is contingent on the Pats not meeting the 42-year-old’s price. And, based on the latest hearsay, they are prepared to do so — potentially with a $30 million 2020 salary and assurances his supporting cast will be upgraded.

Supposedly, according to NFL Network’s Michael Giardi, money is of lesser importance than his “weapons,” or current lack thereof. The club no doubt will promise to be aggressive in stockpiling talent this offseason, leading many to believe Brady’s staying put. But it’s hardly a slam-dunk at this juncture.

What’s known for sure? Brady will have suitors in the event he actually hits the open market. Many suitors. The Cowboys — like it or hate it, right or wrong — are on the shortlist, removal from which is entirely in their hands.

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Stephen Jones Dashes Cowboys-TB12 Rumors

Spawned by Terrell Owens, the off-the-wall idea of Brady playing for Dallas has taken on a life of its own, with local media surveying the team’s higher-ups about the possibility.

Which granted Dallas vice president Stephen Jones the opportunity to drive a stake through its heart, dashing all hope of acquiring the All-World signal-caller.

“Not even a thought,” Jones said last month, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “We’re so, so all in on Dak. [Mike McCarthy] is so all in on Dak. He’s so convicted that [Dak’s] the guy that can help us win championships. He’s putting together a great staff to support him.”

Crazy as it sounds, Owens’ logic was rooted in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ inability to reach a long-term deal with Prescott, who set career highs in passing yards and touchdowns this season. T.O. believes the lack of progress is indicative of an issue that stretches far beyond money.

“He hasn’t extended Dak’s contract,” Owens said of Jones, via Bleacher Report. “So, that leads me to believe he truly doesn’t believe in Dak. If he had, then I think he would have already got a contract extension.”

Cowboys Facing ‘Inevitable’ Move in Dak Talks: Report

Slow-rolling contract talks between the Cowboys and Prescott have hit an impasse, per Schefter, who reported Sunday there’s “no long-term contract in sight” for the franchise QB.

According to Schefter, the sides still cannot settle on a monetary value for Prescott and, “at this point,” Dallas applying the franchise tag to the former Pro Bowl passer “looks inevitable.”

Although the Cowboys “strongly prefer” a multi-year deal, they’ve engaged in fruitless negotiations over the last several months “without coming close to a resolution,” Schefter noted.

In the season of leverage, Dallas may be countering against Prescott, who recently admitted to disappointment over oft-stalled discussions and contempt toward the franchise tag, which would pay him roughly $27 million — guaranteed — for 2020.

“We’ll get to that when we get to that,” Prescott told reporters last week, via the Dallas Morning News. “I look forward to talking to my agents and when that [franchise tag] comes to play, the direction that we’ll go. Until that’s a reality, I won’t worry about it. But I do feel like some of this should get done. I’m a little disappointed that it hasn’t, but that’s part of it.”

Prescott, who walked back previous optimism about a new contract, reportedly is seeking $40 million annually, or close to it, on his desired deal. The deadline for Dallas to use the tag is March 10, after which the team would have until July 15 to sign Dak long term.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL