The franchise tag for a top quarterback was one of the biggest topics of the NFL offseason. Would the Dallas Cowboys finally agree to a long-term deal with star QB Dak Prescott or would they keep the clock ticking on his remaining years in Dallas?
The Cowboys chose the countdown to uncertainty over peace of mind on Wednesday when they were unable to reach an agreement with their Pro Bowl signal caller.
Despite slapping the tag on Prescott to the tune of $31.4 million, the ideal situation was to get a deal done to secure the future for both team and player. Dallas opted to slap a bandage on the 2020 season as the tag allows, which now leaves the 2021 season as potentially Dak’s last in Dallas.
However, as the deadline has passed and no deal was agreed upon, Prescott will play under the tag for the upcoming season. All that debate and all the discussion over what the Cowboys should pay their QB is now useless and the conversation will be picked up again next offseason.
It’s going to be another exhausting 12 months.
Thankfully, the Cowboys still have Prescott in tow for another season. He’s already signed his tender and is preparing for the upcoming campaign, meaning there will be no holdout or distraction. There might be some resentment about not getting a deal done, but that will take a backseat should Prescott have another stellar season and improve his chances of finally landing that mega contract next year.
For the $31.4 million in 2020, the Cowboys are getting one of the top 10 QBs in the game. Prescott’s premium durability and leadership are some of the qualities that have shown up since the day he arrived in Dallas. Teammates love Prescott and he’s been one of the winningest quarterbacks in the league in his first four seasons.
In 2019, Prescott took his game to the statistical next level. To those who said he was carried by RB Ezekiel Elliott and only won games because of the talent surrounding him, Prescott had an answer. He set career highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdowns (30), while having the NFL’s number one overall offense and second ranked passing attack.
Prescott’s legs are also a weapon for the Cowboys as he amassed six scores on the ground in his first three years in the league and then collected three rushing TDs last year. As a dual threat QB, there are few in Prescott’s class.
After showing off what he’s capable of doing with his arm last season, Prescott gets a new head coach who can further allow him to thrive. Mike McCarthy is more aggressive than his predecessor and is known to have solid relationships with his quarterbacks.
If Prescott and McCarthy can work close to as well as McCarthy once did with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, Prescott will continue to ascend. Another step forward would mean big results from Prescott, and, with any luck, the team.
It’s disappointing the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement to keep Prescott a Cowboy for longer than 2020, but at least he’ll be lining up under center for the team as they pursue a Super Bowl this season. Prescott is once again betting on himself as someone who continues to get better and with his history of durability, it’s a smart bet.
There is no long-term deal, but Dak Prescott remains with the Cowboys, which is the most important piece of the team's puzzle. Next year will once again have to wait until next year.
Do you think the Cowboys will eventually get a long-term deal done with Dak Prescott? Share your thoughts with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.