It. Is. Over.
After nearly two calendar offseasons, the Dallas Cowboys have locked down their franchise quarterback with a long-term contract. The Cowboys signed Dak Prescott to a four-year deal, the team announced Monday.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Prescott’s pact is worth up to $164 million overall with $126 million in guarantees and a $66 million signing bonus, both new NFL records. He’ll earn an average of $42 million annually over the first three years — $75 million in year one, the biggest single-season payout in league history. Prescott, 27, who reportedly will count $22.2 million against the team’s 2021 salary cap, also landed a no-trade clause and no-tag provision, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Members of Prescott’s family have since confirmed the signing.
“I am a lifelong Cowboy fan and I raised the kid a Cowboy fan,” Prescott’s father, Nat, told the Dallas Morning News. “At five years old he told me he will be a quarterback for the Cowboys. I don’t think God gives you those types of gifts to make them incomplete.”
The Cowboys will officially announce the landmark agreement during a Wednesday press conference.
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Rather than slap a second straight franchise tender on Prescott, at a cost of $37.7 million for 2021, the Cowboys ignited discussions with agent Todd France in recent days, intent on reaching a long-term accord. The parties did just that, with less than 24 hours remaining until the tag deadline, after Rapoport reported on “positivity” emanating from The Star regarding a potential Dak deal.
“Whether they do a deal by tomorrow, whether they do a deal by July 15, he’s going to be the quarterback,” Rapoport said earlier Monday. “But the next couple of days are going to be fascinating. Based on the conversations I’ve had, there’s some positivity here regarding the Dak Prescott talks that really didn’t seem like they were there last year. It seems like there is at least a chance that something gets done … instead of letting it linger for another frustrating offseason.”
Prescott becomes the league’s second-highest-paid QB behind Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, who averages $45 million annually on his North American sports record $503 million extension, inked in 2020. Dak, meanwhile, surpasses Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who earns $39 million as part of his $156 million contract.
Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones admitted in January that Prescott could not have more leverage in negotiations despite the catastrophic ankle injury he suffered last October — an injury the club vowed wouldn’t dampen his value. Jones was right, on both counts.
“There was never a debate about whether the #Cowboys would keep Dak Prescott,” Rapoport tweeted Monday. “They decided years ago he was their franchise guy. It was a matter of how much. They also had no qualms about his injury, which is right on schedule or ahead of schedule.”
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Shortly after the news broke, the NFL world collectively reacted. Among those who weighed in: former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and current Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL