More than a year in the making, the contract talks between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys continue on as the NFL deadline rapidly approaches. The two sides will be forced to wait until 2021 to revisit talks if a deal can not be struck by July 15, but the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback on Monday officially signed the exclusive franchise tag that pays him $31.4 million in 2020. Prescott had a change of heart, agreeing to sign the tender over the weekend, a source confirmed to CBS Sports.
The Cowboys and Prescott are officially on the clock in regards toward a new contract. Prescott is the seventh-highest paid quarterback in the NFL (in terms of average annual salary) with the tender officially signed, trailing Russell Wilson ($35 million), Ben Roethlisberger ($34 million), Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million), Jared Goff ($33.5 million), Kirk Cousins ($33 million) and Carson Wentz ($32 million).
Until now, Prescott has been absent from the Cowboys virtual offseason in lieu of a new deal, but there has been no bad blood at any point in the negotiations, and his decision to sign the tag isn't completely unexpected. He has long held firm he wants to remain in a Cowboys uniform for the foreseeable future, and the team has doubled and The main sticking point remains the length of the contract, with the former wanting to commit to four years while the latter stands firm at five.on the former Rookie of the Year.
Both have compromised from their original ask that saw Prescott lobby for a three-year deal while the club looked to lock him up for as many as seven years.
As it stands, the latest offer has the Cowboys lobbing a five-year, $175 million deal ($35 million annually) with upwards of $106 million to Prescott and, despite reports to the contrary, he hasn't officially turned it down. Sources confirmed to CBS Sports there was also never an ask of $45 million for Year 5, although the amount of guaranteed money is still very much in flux. The Cowboys will likely have to up the ante in that category to persuade Prescott to sign a five-year term -- considering he wants to renegotiate sooner than later in the next 2-3 years as new TV and gambling revenues balloon the salary cap -- and a separate source notes the team isn't adverse to knocking on the door of $110 million or more if they can obtain a fifth year.
Otherwise, they'll have to concede to the four-year ask of Prescott.
There hasn't been any traction in talks since mid-spring, and for several reasons, including the untimely passing of Prescott's brother that caused both sides to justifiably take pause. The 26-year-old then turned his focus to social injustice, offering up half of his 2019 salary to promote equality but as the calendar readies to turn to July in just over a week, it's expected talks will resume as early as late June or early July to make a push for getting the deal done before July 15.
Securing Prescott for the long-term is the best-case scenario for the Cowboys and they're pushing to get it done but, worst-case, they know he'll be in uniform if the season kicks off as expected in 2020.