Cowboys Catch Heat for Not Signing Dak Prescott to Long-Term Deal

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys have come under fire for failing to lock down Dak Prescott.

Bleacher Report characterized Prescott’s lack of a long-term contract as Dallas’ “one big regret” from the 2020 offseason, chastising the team for leaving their star quarterback wanting.

Via Kristopher Knox:

Failing to get a long-term deal done with quarterback Dak Prescott could come back to bite the Dallas Cowboys on two fronts.

For one, giving him the franchise tag has set the stage for a potential holdout and the prospect of starting the season with Andy Dalton under center.

Secondly, waiting to give Prescott a long-term deal means that doing so may come after guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes have signed theirs. That could set the bar higher than Dallas is willing to go.

That bar could top $40 million per year, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, who reported that Watson could be looking at a deal in the $40-42 million range annually.

With the Cowboys recently giving lucrative extensions to Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper, they could potentially end up in a position where they cannot meet Prescott’s demands. That means Dallas’ hesitancy could cost it Prescott—not only in 2020 but also entirely as the team moves forward.

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Knox alludes to the fact that Prescott could stage an extended holdout if no deal is consummated between now and the July 15 deadline, leaving Andy Dalton as the Week 1 starter. This is a far-fetched scenario for a few reasons.

First off, the Cowboys apparently will not “(let it get to that),” NFL insider Jay Glazer recently reported in his mailbag for The Athletic. They didn’t sign Dalton to usurp Prescott nor have they soured on the two-time Pro Bowler as its organizational cornerstone.

“Absolutely not. It’s not part of their plan,” Glazer said of a potential Prescott holdout. “Dak Prescott will be a part of the Dallas Cowboys for a long, long time. They will get this worked out.”

Moreover, Prescott is extremely unlikely to turn his nose up at $31.4 million for the 2020 campaign — the price of his exclusive franchise tag, which remains unsigned. Not only is this a gargantuan pay increase over his $2.025 million salary from last year, but he’d risk losing an accrued year toward free agency by holding out into the regular season. For a 26-year-old who supposedly wants to test the market again at 30, this would be a bad business decision.

The realistic outcome, absent an extension, is Prescott pocketing the $31.4 million and either continue negotiating a megadeal with Dallas or setting his sights on 2021 unrestricted free agency.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL