Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Labeled ‘Likely Holdout Candidate’ for 2020 Season

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott

There are, according to Bleacher Report, seven “likely” holdout candidates throughout the NFL, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott being among them.

“The quarterback market operates differently than any other position,” writes columnist Brent Sobleski. “The best players aren’t necessarily the highest-paid; it’s about who enters the market at the right time.

Prescott is already one of the game’s best quarterbacks. Last season, the 26-year-old finished second in the league with 4,902 passing yards and fourth with 30 touchdown passes.

The Cowboys won’t be paying just for what he’s accomplished; they’ll also pay for what he brings to them long-term. If they decide not to budge, there’s no reason for Prescott to show up or sign anything that would lock him into a deal less than the market dictates.

The two sides can continue negotiating a long-term deal until July 15. The clock is ticking.”

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Dak a Legit Holdout Threat?

While it’s obviously true that Prescott’s lack of a contractual resolution grows more ominous by the day — he’s technically unsigned for the 2020 season, yet to ink his $31.4 million franchise tag — Dallas brass repeatedly has expressed negligible concern over a potential holdout. Straight from the horse’s mouth, too.

“It’s not a concern of mine,” owner Jerry Jones said earlier this offseason, per The Athletic. “Dak understands, in my mind, one of the great things about Dak is his commitment to building a team. I don’t have an issue there.”

The Cowboys hedged their bets by signing former Bengals starter Andy Dalton. He’s now not only one of the league’s best backups but certified Dak insurance should the worst-case scenario transpire.

However, as some paint in somber tones regarding Prescott’s status, there’s little indication, and less doubt, he won’t be under center come September.

“He’s involved in a business situation and I have full confidence he will be ready to go,” head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters last month, 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.”

Irvin Demands Cowboys Pay Prescott After ‘Stealing’ Years

In a unique if wildly idealistic proposal, franchise legend Michael Irvin called for the organization to provide Prescott with reparations.

The Hall-of-Fame wide receiver, during an interview on the Rich Eisen Show, aired his belief that Dallas owes the 2016 fourth-round pick “back pay” for years of what he considers unrewarded service — service that “deserves” restitution.

“Dak has been not great, but perfect. Not necessarily in wins and losses, of course. But I’m talking about just the person that he’s been,” Irvin said earlier this week, via the Dallas Morning News. “The kind of investment you want to make, the kind of guy you say ‘yeah, we hit it with this guy. We got him in the fourth round.’ You stole four years, so whatever he gets he deserves because you still owe him back pay.”

Although Irvin has the ear of those within the Cowboys’ hierarchy, including the Joneses, there’s next to no chance the team shares his view. Just because Prescott played out his rookie deal, they could argue, doesn’t entitle him to compensation beyond what he’s earned as a pro.

In this sport, contracts, like roster spots, are privileges, not rights. To quote former Cowboys QB Tony Romo, the NFL is a true meritocracy. It’s naive to think otherwise.

Irvin himself hit on this very point, explaining that deadlines ultimately spur action, and Prescott will touch pen to paper on a potentially market-resetting pact by the July 15 deadline — perhaps right before.

“It’s business. Dak wants every penny and Jerry [Jones] wants to try to save every penny,” he said. “But usually those kinds of deals, I always tell people, will get done as soon as the slipper falls of Cinderella, 12:01, something will get done. It’ll come in and Dak will be — for a moment — the highest-paid quarterback before Pat Mahomes gets his.”

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL