According to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the Cowboys’ biggest risk for the 2020 season involves playing “contract Russian Roulette” with the franchise-tagged quarterback, who remains deadlocked in long-term negotiations.
The Dallas Cowboys don’t have to worry about immediately losing quarterback Dak Prescott because they gave him the franchise tag this offseason. However, they haven’t worked out a long-term deal, which is risky for two reasons.
For one, it leaves open the possibility that Prescott will hold out for a new deal. If Prescott refuses to play, the Cowboys are looking at the prospect of starting recent free-agent addition Andy Dalton in Week 1. While Dalton is a capable veteran starter, he isn’t the young, dynamic passer that Prescott is.
Waiting to get a deal done will potentially cost Dallas a hefty chunk of cash, too. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Houston Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson are also in line for new deals that could set the bar for Prescott and his agent.
That bar could top $40 million per year, according to the Houston Chronicle‘s Aaron Wilson. Per Wilson, Watson could be looking at a deal in the $40-42 million range annually.
With the Cowboys recently giving lucrative extensions to running back Ezekiel Elliott and wideout Amari Cooper, a $40 million salary for Prescott may be tough to swallow. Waiting to extend their quarterback could put the Cowboys in a position where they cannot keep their core pieces in place.
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Where Things Stand
Nothing’s changed in recent days.
The latest proposal reportedly floated from Dallas to Dak would pay the 26-year-old just under $35 million per year — falling short of surpassing Seattle’s Russell Wilson as the league’s highest-paid player on an annual basis — but includes guarantees close (if not equal) to Los Angeles’ Jared Goff’s record-setting $110 million.
The Cowboys and Prescott have until July 15 to reach an agreement, or else the latter will be forced to play the 2020 campaign on his $31.4 million franchise tender, which he’s yet to sign.
As Knox states, however, the sooner Dallas gets a deal done, the cheaper it will be.
Wait too long, and risk biting the bullet.
Dak Donates $1M To Combat Police Brutality
Prescott is using his immense platform to take a major stand for George Floyd, a black man murdered by Minneapolis police whose death has sparked nationwide outrage. The two-time Pro Bowl QB announced Wednesday that he’s pledging $1 million “to improve police training and address systematic racism through education and advocacy.”
Prescott’s four-page Instagram statement read in part:
As a black multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled! As our communities take action, protesting and fighting for the justice of George Floyd and every black life, I am with you! I have viewed these protests and riots in our streets as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as Black people have rights that aren’t perceived equally as our counterparts. These riots have caused consternation and confusion in an already crisis-driven world.
Black lives matter! We must commit to hold ourselves and our communities accountable! We must teach one another about our differences. We must embrace the different colors, cultures, and ways of life. To be multi-racial is beautiful and that is what this country is!
We will clean our streets and our communities not only of the looting and violence, but most importantly the racism, racial-profiling, and hate!
I plan to take action and pledge $1,000,000 to improve police training and address systematic racism through education and advocacy in our country.
The donation from Dak is significant considering he earned “just” $2.025 million in base salary in 2019, the final year of his rookie contract with the Cowboys.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL