Insider Reveals Why Dak Prescott-Cowboys Negotiations Could Be Complicated


Getty The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott could face complicated contract negotiations this offseason.

Dak Prescott’s future with the Dallas Cowboys, and how the organization finds creative ways to free up cap space to secure several star players are two of the biggest storylines of this NFL offseason.

Prescott is set to count $59 million against the cap in 2024, but the Cowboys must find a way to trim at least $19.7 million in cap space before the new league year begins on March 13, simply to be cap compliant when free agency gets underway.

According to a report from Mike Fisher of Cowboys Country, the Cowboys and Prescott are set to begin negotiations on a new contract that would lower the star quarterback’s cap number and keep him in Dallas for the foreseeable future.

Lowering Prescott’s cap number is a top priority for the Cowboys, but as Fisher points out, Dallas’ needs might not align with what the 30-year-old with just two playoff wins has in mind for his next deal.

“Is Dak “worth” the same as top-paid QBs Joe Burrow ($55 million APY) and Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert ($52 million APY)?” Fisher writes. “That’s not really the point. This negotiation is going to be about the cost of doing “star QB” business … and whether Dallas chooses to do it long-term.”

Dak Prescott’s Negotiations Could Be Complicated for Cowboys

Prescott is coming off the best statistical season of his career, which gives him significant leverage in this round of contract talks.

En route to leading the Cowboys to the NFC East division championship, Prescott completed a career-high 69.5 percent of his passes for 4,516 yards with 36 touchdowns to just nine interceptions.

However, the Cowboys are going to have many high-priced mouths to feed, with limited financial resources to do so this offseason.

As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out, Prescott’s negotiations are just one piece of a complicated puzzle for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys.

“It took years for Prescott and Dallas to lock in a deal the first time, in 2021,” Fowler writes. “So, don’t expect a swift resolution, especially with Prescott coming off his best statistical season. And if that’s not enough, CeeDee Lamb is due a new contract that could make him the league’s highest-paid receiver or close to it. Linebacker Micah Parsons will need to be paid soon enough.”

Lamb has quickly developed into one of Prescott’s most important weapons, and one of the most prolific wide receivers in the NFL, which makes keeping him in a Cowboys uniform a top priority.

As if 1,749 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns didn’t show Lamb’s value to the Cowboys’ success on offense, Prescott produced a whopping 125.7 passer rating on Lamb’s 179 targets, according to Pro Football Focus.

Spotrac projects Lamb’s new deal to make him the second-highest-paid wide receiver in the league, on a four-year deal worth $115.43 million, averaging approximately $28.8 million annually.

Between Prescott, Lamb, and Parsons, the Cowboys may need to break the bank to keep their most important players in place.

What is Dak Prescott’s Market Value?

There’s little getting around the fact that an extension for Prescott is nearly guaranteed to make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks.

Spotrac projects a new Prescott extension to fall somewhere in the area of $50.8 million annually, coming in at $203.2 million, making him the fifth-highest-paid quarterback in the league.

However, should Dallas and Prescott fail to come to an accord before the new league year gets underway, Jones and the Cowboys have other options to lower his cap number for 2024.

Spotrac points out that the Cowboys could lower Prescott’s base salary significantly in order to free up spending flexibility elsewhere.

“This involves lowering his $29M base salary down to a league minimum $1.21M,” Michael Ginnitti Writes. “Converting the remaining $27.79M + his $5M roster bonus into a signing bonus.

“The move results in a cap decrease from $59.455M down to $33.223M, a savings of $26.2M for the upcoming season. 2024’s pleasure becomes 2025’s pain however, as the dead cap hit waiting when the contract voids has now increased to $62.7M (nearly 25% of the projected salary cap).”

Since the salary cap is expected to balloon in 2025, potentially as high as $260 million, a conversion could wind up being the Cowboys’ break-the-glass scenario for Prescott this offseason.

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