Jerry Jones does not know how Dak Prescott could have any more leverage in long-term contract talks, and the Dallas Cowboys’ linchpin may very well use it to bend the organization over a barrel and become one of the richest quarterbacks in league history.
Such is the scenario envisioned by tenured NFL agent and CBS Sports contributing writer Joel Corry, who laid out a roadmap for Prescott, an unrestricted free agent, to score a three-year, $124.5 million deal — $41.5 million per year — with $100 million fully guaranteed at signing and a $60 million signing bonus.
In other words, a supermassive win for Dak superagent Todd France. And perhaps the biggest L in Jerry’s ballyhooed negotiating career.
“The contract is essentially Prescott having his cake and eating it too,” Corry explained. “Left to his own devices, France probably doesn’t have an interest in compromising after the Cowboys dragged their feet on paying Prescott and taking care other players. France surely took note of Dallas rewarding Ezekiel Elliott’s poor off-the-field choices by making him the league’s highest paid running back in 2019 with two years remaining on his rookie contract after a lengthy preseason holdout. Linebacker Jaylon Smith was signed long term in 2019 when he would have been a restricted free agent in 2020 once his rookie contract expired. Offensive tackle La’el Collins, a 2015 undrafted free agent, also got his second lucrative veteran contract in 2019.
“France having sympathy for the Cowboys’ predicament with Prescott would be surprising. I know I wouldn’t if I were representing Prescott. The best bet for any type of break financially is if Prescott’s desire to remain in Dallas is stronger than the prospect of testing the open market next year or the injury making him reluctant to proceed without the security of a longer term deal as opposed to actually playing under another franchise tag.”
ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Let’s assume Corry perfectly predicts the future and Prescott indeed puts pen to paper under these terms. The 27-year-old would instantly become the sport’s second-highest-paid QB behind Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, who earns $45 million annually as part of his $503 million megapact.
Prescott also would dwarf the record for most guaranteed money at signing, held by Atlanta’s Matt Ryan ($94.5 million), and biggest signing bonus in NFL history, held by Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($65 million). (Rumor has it Prescott aims to surpass Wilson on the financial totem pole.)
Above all else, this would represent the ultimate acquiescence by a Cowboys front office that insisted on a five-year commitment and, failing that, still has the franchise tag at its disposal. Jones normally isn’t the type to let a player “have his cake and eat it, too.”
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Upon Further Review …
… this is hardly a lock. Hardly. Which Corry conceded in a recent radio interview: “I don’t think a deal will be done because I think Dallas will have sticker shock.” And not just for the obvious monetary burden.
While Dallas hopes to reach a multi-year accord prior to March 9, the final day to apply the franchise tag, the team — with $19.35 million in available salary-cap space and holes throughout the roster — cannot afford to hamstring itself by allocating record-setting resources to one position, even if that position is quarterback.
A potential happy medium exists in the form of a four-year contract that allows Prescott to re-test the market in his early 30s and the Cowboys to skew the monster cap charges toward the back end of the arrangement.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL