Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy Leaks New Information on Dak Prescott Negotiations

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott

While some paint in somber tones regarding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s contractual status, his head coach sees the proverbial canvas as half-full.

“He’s involved in a business situation and I have full confidence he will be ready to go,” Mike McCarthy told reporters Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News. “There’s been communication. This is the way these business situations go sometimes and you respect that and have all the confidence it will work out.”

McCarthy has been all-in on Prescott from the day he arrived at Jerry Jones’ lair. The former Super Bowl-winning Packers head man declared that Dallas’ offense will revolve around the two-time Pro Bowler, whom he “definitely” considers a franchise QB.

In January, before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered NFL facilities, the two shared a “good” initial visit after Prescott spoke separately with new QBs coach Doug Nussmeier and retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

“He’s energetic,” McCarthy noted of Prescott. “And we talked about his plan for the next couple of weeks and what he’s going in front of him. I know Kellen and Doug also talked to all the quarterbacks.”

So, McCarthy expressing “full confidence” in Dak’s camp should come as little surprise. But it’s an interesting revelation that the 26-year-old, who opted to skip Dallas’ virtual and voluntary offseason program, has touched base with his coaches despite protracted contract talks.

In these uncertain times, Prescott is bartering to become the highest-paid player in both Cowboys and league history. He’s reportedly rejected two offers worth in excess of $33.5 million per year with $105 million guaranteed. The club then countered, allegedly.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys currently have a proposal on the table that would make Prescott the sport’s second-highest-paid signal-caller, behind Seattle’s Russell Wilson, at more than $34 million annually. The prospective deal includes guarantees “on par” with Rams QB Jared Goff’s record-setting $110 million.

Length remains the biggest roadblock preventing an agreement; Prescott reportedly prefers a four-year pact while the Cowboys are holding firm for a five-year commitment.

The sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract. Failing that, Prescott will be forced to play out the season on his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag, which he’s yet to sign.

The Cowboys are tentatively scheduled to begin training camp in late July.

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McCarthy Pleased with Dalton

If this were a normal offseason, new backup QB Andy Dalton would be assuming first-string reps. But it’s not a normal offseason, so Dalton — like everyone else — is limited to socially-distanced classroom work via Zoom.

Dalton, though, is already paying the sort of dividends Dallas envisioned upon signing him to a one-year, $7 million pact. The former longtime Bengals starter is aiding a Prescott-less room that includes rookie seventh-rounder Ben DiNucci and 2019 practice-squadder Clayton Thorson.

“He’s part of the quarterback group,” McCarthy said of Dalton, per the Dallas Morning News. “It’s been good. He brings a ton of experience, very impressed with his knowledge base and understanding.”

Dalton brings with him a decade-long resume punctuated by more than 31,500 career passing yards and 70 regular-season victories. There’s a reason McCarthy lauded his experience, and that’s because it’s central to installing the 2020 offense.

No Organized Team Activities (OTAs) or minicamps — typically staggered throughout May and June — means no hands-on assimilation of the system. No practicing. This is a nightmare scenario for a brand new coaching staff, compounded by Prescott’s pseudo-holdout.

However, McCarthy is counting on Dalton and his ilk to make the transition as seamless as possible.

“I’m excited because this is probably going to be the most experienced team I’ve coached, so we’ll definitely rely on that,” he said, per The Athletic.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL