Emmitt Smith Sheds Light on Dak Prescott, Cowboys Contract Discussions

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott

Similar to Donovan McNabb, Hall-of-Fame running back Emmitt Smith called for the Dallas Cowboys to bite the bullet and hand Dak Prescott his much-sought-after windfall.

The Cowboys legend claimed he’s “not surprised” by a lack of financial resolution between the negotiating parties but urged the organization to avoid “playing games or playing chicken” with its franchise-tagged quarterback, whom Smith believes is capable of carrying the club to a Super Bowl.

“If you understand the business of leverage, when you have leverage then you try to set the rules,” Smith said on 105.3 The Fan. “And the only way you fight leverage is you fight it by establishing your ground and I think at some point this stuff will subside and it’s not that important right now. … It’s important to press people that need something to talk about because you don’t have much to talk about because we don’t have camps and minicamps and so forth. And now we’re talking about pandemic left and right, 24-7, seven days a week, however you look at it. So you look for something to discuss, but as far as the players go, Dak is not worried whether or not he’s going to get signed. I’m not even concerned. I believe he will get it done. And I believe the Cowboys will get it done because we don’t have room to be playing games or playing chicken.”

Dallas observers on both ends of the aisle have predicted, for one reason or another, that Prescott will sign a new deal by the July 15 deadline rather than play the 2020 campaign on his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag. Smith’s logic is rooted in a belief that COVID-19, which brought the entire sports landscape to a deafening halt, has magnified Dak’s contract standoff. And there’s some truth to it.

Moreover, Smith correctly indicated that each side holds its share of leverage. The Cowboys can yank their present offer to Prescott, reportedly worth $35 million annually with at least $106 million guaranteed, and force him to “settle” for the tag, or sit out the season and lose an accrued year toward free agency.

Prescott, meanwhile, could bank that fully-guaranteed lump sum and shop his wares around the league in 2021. If he were to suit up on the band-aid tender, the team would need to offer the two-time Pro Bowler at least $37.68 million next offseason — a 20% increase in salary — to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones recently confirmed he “would never rescind the franchise tag.”

“Absolutely not,” Jones told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “Dak’s our quarterback for the future. Obviously, this hasn’t been the easiest thing. As Jerry says, ‘As money gets bigger, deals get harder.’ Certainly, we’re talking a significant amount of money here which he so deserves. Absolutely not. Dak’s going to be our quarterback this year. He’s our quarterback for the future. We think the world of him. He represents our franchise in a very positive way in terms of what we want as a leader of our team. He’s just an outstanding man, and we would never rescind the franchise tag.”

So if you don’t take it from a former rival, listen to a true Cowboys great, regardless of whether you want to receive the information: This long-term agreement will, as Jones stated, “get done.”

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