At this point in the contract talks between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys -- now a year in the making -- all manner of rumor has surfaced, but the reality is nothing has changed in recent weeks. The latest rumor has Prescott reportedly asking for $45 million in Year 5, while a spin-off of that report has him asking for $45 million per year (every year), but sources tell CBS Sports neither report is accurate. As it stands, the two sides remain at a minor impasse regarding the length of the deal and how to close the gap.
Let's recap where things began and where they currently stand.
CBS Sports' original reporting in February noted the biggest sticking point in the talks was the number of years involved and not the average annual salary, with the Cowboys seeking upwards of a seven-year term with Prescott countering with three-year offer. Both sides have since compromised and the team stands firm at five years while Prescott plants his flag on four, with the hopes of renegotiating again sooner than later under the cash-rich salary cap structure that will be provided by both the new collective bargaining agreement and new NFL television contracts.
Contrarily, the Cowboys want to avoid that and lock him in for as long as possible,. The aforementioned sources tell CBS Sports that will likely come by way of increased guaranteed money, and to my count, the latest deal offered to Prescott with just north of $106 million in guaranteed money, which tallies to a five-year, $175 million deal -- which he's mulling and building a counteroffer against.
It does not, however, mean he turned it down. Instead, he and his agent, Todd France, are working to frame it in a way that would be more appealing to Prescott. In other words, there's a negotiation going on; considering how much money is involved, there will likely be much more discussion before anyone puts pen to paper.
Both sides have until July 15 at 4 p.m. ET to come to terms on a new deal, or Prescott would have to sign his $31.5 million exclusive franchise tender in order to suit up in 2020. I'm told Prescott currently has no plans to sign the tender, because he wants the long-term deal done as badly as the Cowboys do, which puts them both on the same track barreling in the same direction. When they'll reach the destination is anyone's guess, but the risk of it all derailing is slim-to-none. The progress in the talks is readily evident, and so is the adoration between the two sides, leaving nothing left to do but figure out how to make it worthwhile for Prescott to agree to one more year.
Given all they've gone through to get to this point, don't go betting on Jerry Jones to suddenly give up on locking down his franchise quarterback -- especially after securing his premier defensive end, running back and wide receiver. It really is just a matter of time before Prescott and Jones shake hands again (hopefully with gloves on, because COVID-19).