America’s team have the second easiest schedule behind division rival Philadelphia. Expectations are high in Arlington for a bounce-back season.
As we enter the last couple days of May, Dak Prescott’s Cowboys contract remains unsigned.
Various news outlets are reporting Prescott has turned down Dallas’s latest offer. Many believe he will play under his franchise tender for the 2020 season.
Everybody has their own opinion on Prescott’s contract situation and in many people’s minds he is not coming off looking too good. The Cowboys’ latest offer to Prescott was reportedly a five-year deal worth US$175 million (A$268 million) with US$106 million (A$162 million) guaranteed.
Prescott’s average yearly salary would balloon up to US$35 million (A$54 million) a year, putting him next to Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson as the league’s top-earning quarterback.
As is currently stands, Prescott and the Cowboys have until 4pm EDT on Wednesday, 15 July (6am AEST on Thursday, 16 July) to come to an agreement on new deal or Dak will have to play under his US$31.4 million (A$48 million) tender, which would place him seventh on the list of top-earning quarterbacks heading into the new season.
From all reports the major stumbling block for the new contract is not the money but rather the length of contract. Prescott wants a four-year deal so he can then renegotiate a new deal when the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement comes into effect in the coming years, while Jerry Jones and co want Prescott for five years.
According to major outlets, if he is in fact to sign a five-year deal with the Cowboys, then Prescott is looking at US$45 million (A$69 million) for his fifth year simply to go with the suspected inflation in the market and salary cap once the new collective bargaining agreement comes into effect during 2021 and which will run until 2030.
The longer it takes to get this deal done the more I don’t like it. It simply doesn’t smell right. Jerry Jones had no hesitations signing wide receiver Amari Cooper to a five-year US$100 million (A$153 million) deal with US$60 million (A$92 million) guaranteed and line backer Jaylon Smith to a six-year deal worth just over US$68 million (A$104 million) with a US$5 million (A$8 million) signing bonus yet has taken his time getting his quarterback paid. Prescott has outperformed both Cooper and Smith over the last year or so and is being made to constantly haggle for his new deal.
At the start of the 2019 season it was reported the Cowboys offered Prescott a contract worth US$33 million (A$50 million) a year and included US$90 million (A$138 million) guaranteed, but he bet on himself and played out the season on his US$2 million (A$3 million) salary. It looked like a great move for the quarterback starting the season 3-0, but shortly afterwards the wheels began to wobble and the Cowboys missed the play-offs and lost the division to the Eagles.
There’s not much more I need to see from Dak Prescott to justify the Cowboys offering him US$33 million to US$35 million a year. He has everything you want in a quarterback: he’s tough, he’s a decent passer, he can use his legs and he’s usually careful with the football. But if reports are true that Prescott and his agent are looking for US$45 million in his fifth year, I simply cannot defend that. There are only a handful of quarterbacks who can legitimately ask for that kind of money. As much as I like Dak, he’s not one of them.
So 15 July is the deadline to sign a new deal or be forced to sign the franchise tender and go through this again next year, but with Andy Dalton waiting in the wings, this could be Precott’s last year as a Cowboy. He could well test the market next year, and Andy Dalton may be thrust into the starting job.
If in fact that does happen and Jerry Jones lets Prescott walk, the search for another franchise quarterback to replace hall of famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman will go on with no end in sight.
This deal must get done. I feel it will, but Jerry and Prescott sure are dragging it out.