Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is playing his best ball of the last two years, and perhaps even of his career. He's in line for a new contract that will make him — again — among the highest paid at the position, and that should happen during the offseason.
Sources tell CBS Sports that while Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said the team is open to extending Prescott during this current season, there has been no conversation between the two sides about doing so. Instead, they'll focus on the offseason to hammer something out.
The 2024 season marks the end of Prescott's four-year, $160 million contract he signed in the 2021 offseason. That deal came together after nearly two years of negotiating and a franchise tag for the former fourth-round pick.
Prescott's contract had a historic amount of fully guaranteed money (nearly 60% of the deal was fully guaranteed at signing), and he also received just four years when the standard is five or more years as Prescott and his agent, Todd France, were adamant on the years. France, by the way, is known around the league for always driving a hard bargain in negotiations.
It's unclear what the structure of the next deal for Prescott, an NFL MVP candidate this year, would be. Joe Burrow tops all quarterbacks in average annual value with $55 million per year, including more than $219 million in total guarantees and more than $146 million in full guarantees. And Deshaun Watson's fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million deal remains the only one of its kind in the league today.
The key to this upcoming deal, one source pointed out, is Prescott's no-tag clause. Among the top quarterback deals, only Lamar Jackson has the same no-tag provision as Prescott. Not only did Prescott secure the opportunity to get to free agency quicker with the four-year deal, but he took away from Dallas one of the strongest pieces of leverage in NFL contract negotiations: the franchise tag.
If a deal doesn't get done before the start of the 2024 season, the Cowboys would run the risk of Prescott refusing to negotiate in-season. That would mean he could become an unrestricted free agent in March 2025.
"Do you want to roll the dice?" one league source asked rhetorically.
That no conversations are being held now between the two sides isn't uncommon or unexpected. Rarely do major deals get worked out at this point in the calendar in the NFL.
Prescott does have a cap hit of $59.455 million in 2024, though. With Dallas needing to pay Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb at some point, the Cowboys will need to restructure Prescott's current deal by the start of free agency to lessen the cap hit. They've restructured his deal three times since he signed it, and it doesn't mean a new deal has to be done by then.
The Cowboys are 9-3 this season with Prescott under center. He's completing 70% of his passes, on pace for the second-most passing touchdowns in a season of his career and has cut his interception rate by more than half.
Jones said earlier this year that Prescott is the quarterback who can get Dallas back to the Super Bowl. Jones believes the Cowboys are in a window now. He's referred to the championship as "the absolute glory hole," and it's somewhere the Cowboys haven't gone in more than a quarter-century.
The 2023 offseason saw a flurry of huge quarterback deals. From Jalen Hurts to Jackson, Justin Herbert to Burrow and then a reworked deal for Patrick Mahomes, the stage is set for someone like Prescott to break the bank yet again in 2024.