In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, the franchise legend and FOX commentator criticized the Cowboys over their beaten-to-death failure in multi-year negotiations, suggesting that if Prescott is franchise-tagged a second time, “that will be the last we see of” the former Pro Bowl signal-caller in the Lone Star State.
“They’re not going to get very far without a franchise quarterback,’’ Aikman told DMN columnist David Moore. “They’ve got that in Dak. I think the price tag went up. I think Dak’s leverage went up after this year.’’
“I’d be really surprised if [Prescott] is playing under the franchise tag again this year. My guess is if he is, that will be the last we see of Dak Prescott [in Dallas]. I just can’t imagine that he’s going to feel really good giving an open negotiation to the Cowboys if he’s played two years under the franchise tag.”
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Leader of the #PayDak Movement
Aikman has long been a staunch supporter of Prescott, who failed to reach an agreement with the Cowboys before last July’s deadline, forcing the 27-year-old to play 2020 on his $31.4 million franchise tender. Prescott’s season ended in Week 5 after he suffered a right ankle compound fracture and dislocation.
Months prior, however, Aikman stated he “strongly believes” it’s a matter of when — not if — Prescott lands his windfall from the organization. And in December, realizing the sides remain stagnated, the Hall-of-Famer implored Dallas to “hand out money” to the 2016 fourth-round draft pick.
“I think when you start handing out money and start talking about franchise quarterbacks, yes, the play on the field is where it begins, but there’s more that factors into that, more so than any other positions,” Aikman said. “These guys that are quarterbacks are the face of your franchise. They’re the CEOs of your franchise. They have to be the ones who really establish the culture and the accountability within the football team. And if you don’t have the right guy in that role, then I think you’re really going to struggle as an organization. And Dak checks every box in my opinion. And, so, that’s why I’ve said for the last couple of years that I wouldn’t hesitate at all to pay him.”
Super Bowl Contender Named Top Dak Landing Spot
If Prescott inexplicably found his way to the open market, the impending unrestricted free agent would have half the NFL lining up to sign him. But one team stands above the rest as an ideal suitor: the Indianapolis Colts.
Per Bleacher Report, the Colts are the top landing spot for the league’s top unsigned player, according to columnist Maurice Moton, who cited Indianapolis’ $69 million in available funds and its massive void at the position.
The Colts have a solid five-man group in the trenches with one of the best guards in Quenton Nelson. Last year, the unit cleared the way for the league’s third-leading rusher, Jonathan Taylor, who is three-and-a-half years younger than Cowboys tailback Ezekiel Elliott. General manager Chris Ballard can select an offensive tackle early in the draft to replace Anthony Castonzo, who retired.
Most importantly, the Colts have won at least 10 games in two of Frank Reich’s three seasons. They’re built to win, and Prescott can find financial security with a shot to compete for titles.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL