After all, the dual-threat quarterback still doesn’t have a long-term deal. And considering he suffered a gruesome injury just a few months ago, it’s not as if Prescott holds a ton of leverage heading into free agency.
Unfortunately for fans of Jerry Jones’ team, the latest report about the star signal-caller’s contract situation doesn’t sound encouraging.
Dak Prescott faces another interesting foray into free agency
Last offseason, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to come to terms on a contract extension. Instead of entering his fifth NFL season with financial security, the 2016 fourth-round pick took a risk by playing under the franchise tag.
Although his $31.4 million salary represented a massive increase, Prescott’s worst nightmare came true just five games into the 2020 season.
The two-time Pro Bowler suffered a nasty ankle injury that required season-ending surgery. Instead of putting up big numbers in a contract year, he spent most of his age-27 campaign watching from the sidelines.
While some would argue the Cowboys’ 6-10 record boosted Prescott’s value by showing how much they needed him, it’s also fair to wonder whether Dallas has more reservations about making him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in NFL history in light of his devastating injury.
Jerry Jones could easily use the franchise tag on Prescott again. However, by applying that designation for the second straight year, the Cowboys will have to pay the former Mississippi State star $37.7 million.
Cowboys fans receive bad news about the star quarterback’s future in Dallas
Now that NFL teams can officially use the franchise tag to retain the rights of an impending free agent, that puts the Cowboys on the clock to figure out exactly what they want to do about Dak Prescott and his future with the franchise.
Dallas has until March 9 to place the tag on Prescott. If that does not occur, he will certainly become the most coveted free agent on the market.
Although few expect the Cowboys to completely move on from their offensive leader, the latest report about the talented quarterback’s contract situation doesn’t exactly inspire confidence about his future in Dallas.
On Tuesday, longtime NFL reporter Jeff Darlington appeared on ESPN and delivered some discouraging news for Cowboys fans.
“Very important to point out here, though, speaking with people on both sides of this thing, it does not sound as if any progress has been made in a long-term extension for Dak Prescott,” Darlington said. “So while this is the beginning of the process for this year, it also feels like we still have a very long way to go.”
He raised further concern by highlighting how Prescott wanted a four-year extension a year ago, and that the issue of contract length could stand in the way of a deal getting done.
“To me, it just feels like the further away we get from the start, the harder it will be to bridge the gap,” Darlington said. “And that’s why I have zero faith in this process.”
Will Jerry Jones finally figure out a way to lock up the two-time Pro Bowler?
Based on Darlington’s report, it’s fair to question how much longer Dak Prescott will remain a member of the Cowboys.
If the two sides truly cannot find a middle ground, it won’t be surprising to see him playing elsewhere in 2022. In fact, if he has to play under the franchise tag again, Prescott might as well start calling realtors and planning his next move.
On the other hand, perhaps Jerry Jones will finally realize that he already has a top-12 quarterback as the face of his team. Does the aging owner want to hit the reset button at the most important position in sports? Does he want to risk alienating players in the locker room by letting Prescott walk after the season?
If Jones wants to hoist the Lombardi Trophy again, he better figure out a way to lock up a valuable asset.
And this time, it needs to be for more than one year.
But based on Tuesday’s report from Darlington, Cowboys fans should legitimately be worried about the prospect of Prescott playing for another NFL team after the 2021 season…if not sooner.