1) Include a franchise-tagged Prescott in the deal for Wilson.
2) Allow Prescott to sign elsewhere in unrestricted free agency.
Door number two is unlikely to be breached by Jerry and Stephen Jones, as the Cowboys’ czars surely won’t let Prescott walk for free on the open market.
Which leaves No. 1 as the most likely outcome in the event of a blockbuster deal with the Seattle Seahawks, and Pro Football Focus raised the possibility of a stunning Wilson-Prescott swap.
Could Dallas tag and trade Dak for Russell Wilson? pic.twitter.com/Pb17tbt25h
— PFF (@PFF) February 27, 2021
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Easier Said Than Done
While Seattle doesn’t need to twist Wilson’s arm, considering the eight-time Pro Bowler reportedly issued a trade request to Dallas (among three other teams), convincing Prescott to greenlight the trade likely requires a bit more initiative.
Because he isn’t under contract, the Cowboys could not move Dak unless they apply the franchise tag and he formally signs the fully-guaranteed $37.7 million tender. Then he’d have to be willing to play for Seattle, whose agonizing run-based system and annually leaky offensive lines drove Wilson (potentially) to the point of no return. If all this sounds convoluted … that’s because it is.
To date, only one passer in league history, Matt Cassel, has ever been franchise-tendered and then shipped to another team. That happened in 2009, when Cassel was sent from the Patriots to the Chiefs. ESPN’s Adam Schefter cautioned in January that history repeating itself with Prescott is possible — but hardly probable — despite the clock ticking on long-term contract talks prior to March 9, the final day to apply the tag.
“To do that, they need a certain level of cooperation from Dak Prescott,” Schefter said. “He’s got to come in and sign that franchise tag knowing he’s being traded somewhere. If they had a deal worked out with somebody to a place where he didn’t want to go, what would be his incentive to sign that?
“This is, really, an unofficial no-trade tag that Dak Prescott has by getting the franchise tag, if indeed the Cowboys do put that tag on him. That would be his unofficial no-trade clause. They could not just trade him without his consent.”
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Cowboys Source Laughs Off Russ Rumors: Report
Back to reality. NFL Network insider Jane Slater recently reported that a trade sending Wilson to Dallas is highly unlikely to occur. Slater’s source close to the situation forcefully disputed the speculation, which they referred to as “laughable.”
“Not only do I not think this is happening, I did go ahead and check that with one of my team sources. They equally found the scenario laughable,” Slater relayed, via Todd Brock of Cowboys Wire.
It isn’t just Slater, either. According to Michael Gehlken, who covers the Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News, the chances of the Joneses making a franchise-altering offer for Wilson are “less than 1%.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL