Dak Prescott, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys have had an interesting relationship. No news has been reported on the Dak Prescott contract talks (other than talks have “opened”). As fans wait, doubt begins to seep into their minds. Will the Dallas Cowboys pay Dak? How much are Jerry Jones and family willing to pay Dak Prescott? Those questions have yet to be answered.
The deadline, once again, is March 9th if the Dallas Cowboys want to put the franchise tag on him again. The Cowboys young QB played on the franchise tag last year which was a $31.4 million deal. Dallas accommodating a second franchise tag will be more challenging because the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a $180 million salary cap floor for 2021 league year, which begins on March 17, due to the coronavirus pandemic creating a revenue shortfall.
The 2021 salary cap isn’t expected to be above $185 million. Prescott’s 2020 tag was 15.85 percent of the league wide $198.2 million salary cap. A $37,690,800 tag would be 20.94 percent of the salary cap at the $180 million floor. After the second designation, the Cowboys would have until 4 p.m. ET on July 15 to sign Prescott long-term. If an agreement couldn’t be reached by this date, Dallas would be prohibited from signing Prescott to a multi-year contract until the 2021 regular season ends.
How much will Jerry Jones Pay?
The Cowboys saw Prescott go down with an injury that ended his season in week 5. Before being injured, the offense scored over 30 points per game. Furthermore, the young gunslinger was on pace to 6,760 passing yards – a record setting performance. The Dallas Cowboys offense didn’t come close without Prescott. Dallas averaged 204.9 passing yards per game and 21.1 points per game when Prescott didn’t play. The running game dwindled as well, and the Cowboys were pretty much dead in the water after.
The above information indicates one thing: Jerry Jones should pay the man. The problem with the negotiations last year was length. The Dallas Cowboys kept pushing a five year deal. Dak’s camp wanted a four year contract. The solution here seems to be a compromise. Give Dak his four year deal. Boom, term is done. Now, the numbers come into play. The franchise tag is upwards of $37 million as stated above. $37 million should be the starting point of the money talks.
Both sides will have to give a little and take a little. Disgruntled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension averaging $39 million per year last September as the start of the regular season was approaching. The deal is worth up to $160 million through incentives. Pushing for a Watson-like deal would not be a bad idea for Prescott’s camp.
However, Joel Corry writes: “The amount fully guaranteed at signing hasn’t taken a jump since Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan become the NFL’s first $30 million per year player in 2018. Ryan’s deal contained $94.5 million fully guaranteed. Prescott’s deal should establish a new benchmark. France could press for Prescott getting the most lucrative fully guaranteed contract in NFL history. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal breaker for France provided any money that isn’t fully guaranteed at signing becomes completely secure next March during the initial days of the 2022 league year.” So, there it is.
The Dallas Cowboys, in my opinion, owe Prescott for the events of last year. If they franchise tag him again, and that’s where the talks seem to be headed again, they need to shoot for somewhere in the middle of where each side wants to be. However, a “player friendly deal” would indicate that he is valuable. Talks could put the money in the $124 million range with $100 million guaranteed. The signing bonuses and incentives could be in the range of $60 million. Perhaps the Cowboys and Todd France negotiate a three year deal. Prescott would then get $41.5 million per year. Jerry Jones has said Dak Prescott is family. Now is the time to prove it.