Dak Prescott will sign the franchise tag this year, but the Cowboys need to ink him long-term fast.
Thankfully for the Cowboys, Dak Prescott will sign on for the 2020 NFL season, assuming it happens at all. However, Jerry Jones and Co. still have the opportunity to sign Prescott long term before the July 15 deadline for such things, and the Cowboys would be wise to do so.
The longer the Cowboys continue playing hardball with Prescott, a quarterback who knows precisely what he’s worth, the more they’ll have to pay long-term.
Can the Dallas Cowboys afford to wait on Dak Prescott extension?
While the exclusive franchise tag is set at an astounding $31.4 million in 2020, that number will only go up by next offseason.
The Cowboys have several key contributors up for extensions in the coming years, specifically in their secondary. After losing Byron Jones this past offseason, Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods all his unrestricted free agency in 2021. As much as the Cowboys have invested in their passing game, they cannot afford such gutting losses on the other side of the ball.
Prescott could very well become the highest-paid passer in the game, and while that would be tough to justify from the Cowboys’ perspective, in the grand scheme of things it is merely a stepping stone. The former Mississippi State QB should not be paid as much as, say, Russell Wilson in an ideal world, but Prescott is setting the market for the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, who will dwarf his salary in the seasons to come.
Should Prescott and the Cowboys not agree to an extension by the mid-July deadline, they’d be placing extra pressure upon themselves to avoid that $37 million cap hit, which would arguably be a higher AAV than they’d pay in any long-term deal.
Dallas is in a battle not just with Prescott and his agent, but time. Their checkbook won’t forgive them for waiting.