In explaining the roadblock separating Dak Prescott from a long-term contract — the basis of which we’ve known for quite a while now — ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter made a bold(ish) prediction for the Dallas Cowboys‘ franchise-tagged quarterback.
Schefter explained that “gray areas” between Prescott’s unsigned tag and lack of progress on a lucrative extension are mutually tied to COVID-19, which has shuttered all team facilities and canceled nationwide offseason workout programs.
Prescott previously hinted he wouldn’t show his face at The Star without a multi-year pact in place. But he’s no longer a threat to hold out because there’s nothing to hold out from. Right?
“Keep in mind, again, players who have unsigned contracts cannot go through the offseason program — there is no offseason program, but there is a virtual offseason program,” Schefter said on Tuesday’s edition of SportsCenter, via 247Sports. “So now we’re into gray areas with Dak Prescott, who hasn’t signed his franchise tender, who’s trying to get that long-term deal done.
“The bottom line on the long-term deal (getting) done — the two sides have differing values. But I think the bigger issue might just be the years. The Dallas Cowboys want Dak Prescott on a five-year-or-longer deal. Dak Prescott wants four years. And there’s a difference on the years that has prevented this deal from getting done so far. I think that, to me, sounds like it’s the biggest obstacle — not the money, not the signing bonus, not the guarantees. It’s the years.
“We’ll see how that plays out. But in the interim, Dak Prescott has the option of going through the virtual offseason program. I don’t think he will, though.”
The stop-start nature of negotiations held by the Cowboys and Prescott’s agent, Todd France, again reared its head last month. Same as last season, the sides appeared to be making significant headway toward a deal … until they weren’t.
The two-time Pro Bowl passer reportedly was on the verge of becoming the league’s highest-paid player, possibly in excess of $35 million annually, with over $110 million guaranteed. One team insider even forecasted that Jerry Jones and company would cave to Dak’s demands.
Then the coronavirus hit, and talks — unsurprisingly — went silent once more.
Dallas was scheduled to begin its offseason program Monday if not for the pandemic that effectively put the globe on lockdown. In its absence, the club has shifted attention to the upcoming draft, which will be conducted as planned from April 23-25, albeit fully and unprecedently virtual. To prepare, the brain trust has remotely interviewed several blue-chip prospects, including Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts (eyes emoji).
After this event takes place, perhaps France and the Cowboys’ brass will finally hammer out an agreement, especially if stay-at-home measures remain enacted, giving the parties little else to do.
In the meantime, Prescott will continue training on his own while helping others, ironically, secure their bag.
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Video of Dak ‘Dropping Dimes’ to Dez Bryant [WATCH]
The two were back in the lab Monday — and there’s video to show for it. Courtesy of David Robinson, a respected WRs coach who’s long trained Bryant, Prescott can be seen “dropping dimes” to an uncovered Dez running a series of routes.
Bryant and Prescott last shared an NFL field together in 2017, the former’s final year in silver and blue, when he made 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns across all 16 starts. Bryant was released by the Cowboys in April 2018, and save for a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints — he tore his Achilles’ during his first practice — he’s been out of football since.
Bryant is pushing to make a professional comeback and has repeatedly expressed a desire to return to Dallas, after the team lost pass-catchers Jason Witten (Raiders) and Randall Cobb (Texans) in free agency. Jones himself acknowledged the distinct possibility of a Bryant reunion, though it doesn’t seem imminent as of this writing.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL