Tom Brady isn't entirely human, and that's more or less a safe assumption to make. At the tender age of 43, the six-time Super Bowl winner is on the cusp of landing a seventh after conquering Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round to punch his ticket to the NFC title game -- in only his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Monday, the latter point was used on social media to take a jab at the Dallas Cowboys, who haven't been to the NFC title game since winning their fifth Super Bowl in the mid-1990s, and Dak Prescott took grave exception to the unprompted dig.
After seeing the post pushed on Instagram by ESPN's 'SportsCenter' account, Prescott tagged two-time NFL rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott in his reply, and it's one that can only make the Cowboys' locker room and front office smile from ear to ear.
"Hold my crutches," Prescott wrote.
The 27-year-old is currently recovering from a compound fracture in his ankle that required surgery in Week 5 and ended his 2020 season, only to see the Cowboys enter an outright tailspin without him before leveling out just a bit in December, only to crash and burn in Week 17 against the same New York Giants team that basically ended their season by injuring Prescott in the first place. The progress in his recovery has been labeled as ahead of schedule, several sources tell CBS Sports, and he remains on schedule to return when the Cowboys begin their offseason program -- again in prime form -- assuming it begins on time and isn't derailed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Whenever the Cowboys are allowed to get back to work, Prescott will presumably be present and accounted for.
That leaves only the hairy mastodon in the room to be addressed, namely his contract, or absence thereof. Prescott and the Cowboys can resume their third round of contract talks now, but the team is hoping to get more clarity on what the 2021 salary cap will be before truly digging back in. It's possible they'll see a $20 million bump, thanks to renewed and renegotiated TV contracts, but that's not certain just yet. What is certain, however, is that Prescott will be franchise tagged a second time at roughly $37.7 million if no deal is agreed to by the NFL tag deadline, a move that would again give them until July 15 to hammer out what would inevitably be a historic multi-year contract.
Jerry Jones recently admitted he doesn't know how Prescott could "have any more leverage" than he does right now, and our CBS Sports blueprint for how to repair the Cowboys is topped by securing the latter to a long-term deal. But while Prescott and his agent work out those details with the Cowboys, it's all he can do to not toss his crutches to his teammates and start working on making sure Dallas is in the NFC title game when 2022 rolls around.