Dallas, TX – The NFL franchise-tag deadline passed on Wednesday with no deal from the Cowboys. That means Dak Prescott will play the 2020 Season with no new contract.
No long-term contract materialized between the Cowboys and their starting quarterback, who is now scheduled to play the season for a mere $31.4 million. Per NFL rules, that means negotiations must be put on hold until after the coming season. At this moment in life, it’s hard to say what the 2020 NFL season is going to look like. Training camp is slated to open in just two weeks, though details about how the league will conduct its season against the backdrop of the pandemic are still forthcoming.
Cowboys vice-president Stephen Jones discussed negotiations with Prescott and his representation by phone before the deadline. But the Cowboys tendered no new written offer. The latest deal was to span five years with guarantees no more than $110 million. Prescott balked at that offering as four years was all he would consider. He has started all 64 games since Dallas drafted him 135th overall in the 2016 draft. In three playoff appearances, he’s only won one.
This is a rare instance where the Cowboys haven’t been able to agree to terms with a cornerstone player. Traditionally, they’ve made it a habit of sneaking in deals just under the deadline. Last year, they agreed to a multi-year, $105 million deal with DeMarcus Lawrence. After a six-week holdout, they also signed Ezekiel Elliott to his $90 million extension just four days before the season opener. The Cowboys signed Dez Bryant to a five-year, $70 million contract back in 2015 – mere hours before the franchise tag deadline.
Prescott is just the sixth Cowboys player to be tagged during the brief history of the franchise tag’s use in the NFL. He joins Flozell Adams, Ken Hamlin, Anthony Spencer, Bryant and Lawrence. Prescott is the fourth player in team history who will actually play on the tag. Adams played one season on the tag before receiving a long-term extension. Lawrence played on the tag in 2018 and was tagged again in 2019 before ultimately getting his extension. Bryant and Hamlin never actually played on the tag before signing extensions, while Spencer is the only player in franchise history to sign two franchise tags.
Despite a mediocre team record, Prescott enjoyed a career year in 2019. He set career highs across the board, finishing the season with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. The Cowboys led the league in total offense, but finished with an 8-8 record. Whenever the season does kick off, new head coach Mike McCarthy and Prescott will be expected to produce a team record better than 8-8.