Dak Prescott signs $31.4 million franchise tag, making him highest-paid Dallas Cowboy ever

Tribune Content Agency

DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has officially gone from being the best bargain in the NFL to having the richest one-year contract in franchise history.

That much is guaranteed after Prescott signed the exclusive franchise tender of $31.4 million on Monday, as had been expected.

Prescott and the Cowboys could still reach a long-term arrangement that would make him the richest player in NFL history, however, such a deal would need to be executed by July 15.

The Cowboys placed the tag on Prescott on March 18. He had refused to sign the tag and boycotted the Cowboys’ virtual offseason program, which ended last week, as leverage in continued negotiations.

Even though Prescott signed the tag, there is no avenue to make up for what he missed during the virtual offseason program, which is over for veterans.

The Cowboys’ facility is still closed for players as a result of the shutdown due to COVID-19.

This is normally a dead period so it’s unlikely he can meet with the coaches in person to catch up on the offense, but he can talk to them.

Prescott’s signature ensures that he will report to training camp on time and be ready to go for the start of the season, with or without a long-term deal.

If there is no deal by July 15, then Prescott will have to play the season on the franchise tag, which is still a considerable raise.

Prescott took home just over $2 million in 2019 after earning $630,000 in 2018, $540,000 in 2017 and $450,000 during his rookie season. He has started every of his career and has made two Pro Bowl appearances since being drafted by the Cowboys as a fourth-round pick in 2016.

Should the two sides agree on a long-term deal before July 15, it’s likely that Prescott would become the highest-paid player in NFL history. However, just because Prescott has now signed the tag doesn’t mean that the two sides are any closer on an extended contract.

The Cowboys’ last offer came in late March and, according to a source, it was a five-year deal for more than $34 million annually. But it did not reach $35 million, which would match the salary of the league’s highest-paid player, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

It did, however, edge Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s $34 million annual deal for the second-highest paid player in the NFL.

The source also indicated that the guaranteed money in the Cowboys’ last offer matched Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s NFL record of $110 million guaranteed.

The biggest stumbling block has been the length of the contract, sources have said. Prescott wants a four-year deal, which is in keeping with the recent deals signed by top quarterbacks, including Wilson, Goff, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.

The Cowboys want to do a five-year deal to help with the salary cap. If the Cowboys have to franchise Prescott in 2021, his salary will be $37.7 million. That could be difficult because of a reduced salary cap expected due to COVID-19 losses in 2020.


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