Cowboys Pressured to ‘Pay Big’ to QB Dak Prescott in 2021

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott topped Bleacher Report’s list of impending 2021 NFL free agents who must be re-signed by their original teams.

The digital media giant argued that under no circumstance should the Cowboys repeat their grave mistake with the two-time Pro Bowl passer, a lame duck beyond this season.

Via columnist Chris Roling:

The Cowboys have imploded without Prescott to keep things afloat. Dallas is 2-7, allows a league-worst 32.2 points per game and can’t even compete in an NFC East where the first-place team is 3-5-1.

Jerry Jones and Co. were lucky enough to back into a franchise passer in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. Prescott is a career 66.0 percent passer with 106 touchdowns and 40 interceptions with a 42-27 record; gambling on finding that sort of late-round success again would be foolish.

Dallas likely won’t want to pay up on the money escalation of a second franchise tag, nor does it have much leverage after how things have unfolded this year. Prescott is going to get paid big, and the Cowboys would be wise to make sure it’s them who write the check.

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Options On the Table

By league rule, the Cowboys and Prescott cannot resume long-term negotiations until the offseason. But there are only three ways this thing can go: the sides agree to a multi-year deal, Dallas again uses the franchise tag, or, less likely, Prescott is allowed to shop his wares on the open market.

The tag would cost a fully-guaranteed $37.7 million for the 2021 season, up from $31.4 million in 2020. A four- or five-year arrangement would check in near (if not exceeding) $40 million annually, with more than $110 million in guarantees — be it from Dallas or another organization.

But the news here is that there is no news. COO Stephen Jones recently stated the Cowboys have “not had any conversations with Dak Prescott since his injury,” referencing his right ankle compound fracture and dislocation sustained Oct. 11.

“The only interaction the front office has had with Dak has been to ask how he is doing,” beat writer Brianna Dix reported last week.

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Cowboys Dispense Update on Dak ‘Full Recovery’ Process

Jones, meanwhile, continues to speak in glowing terms about Prescott’s recovery from his grisly injury, affirming the 27-year-old is “ahead of schedule and rolling,” free of post-surgical complications.

“I haven’t run into Dak in the last couple of weeks. What I do is get these amazing reports on how he’s doing. It shouldn’t come as any surprise. He does everything to the 9s and the 10s, he just does it the very best. He’s been so diligent in his rehab, and that shouldn’t surprise anybody,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “They said (the team’s medical staff), if anything, he’s ahead of schedule and rolling. We expect him to have a full recovery. He avoided any of the complications that come anytime you have a bone that breaks the skin. You worry about infections and he certainly avoided any of that. We’re just fortunate to have a guy like Dak. It’s been tough not having him out there because his leadership is right at the top with his skill, and what he brings to the table as a quarterback in the NFL.”

A best-case outcome means Prescott is healed by February, before his scheduled foray into unrestricted free agency. Even in a six-month scenario, however, he’d likely still participate fully in the Cowboys’ offseason program, which begins in April.

READ NEXT: Cowboys QB Predicted to Sign with New Team in 2021

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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