While every professional athlete is paid handsomely, NFL quarterbacks tend to sit near the top of the heap. To some extent, though, that salary makes sense; the fate of every offensive play is literally in your signal-caller’s hands. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, however, hasn’t earned anywhere near as much as some of his peers.
Although he’s won 40 games with the Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott has earned less than $125,000 for each victory. No wonder he’s sticking to his guns at the negotiating table.
Dak Prescott’s promising Dallas Cowboys career
After a solid college career at Mississippi State, Dak Prescott slipped into the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft. He landed with the Dallas Cowboys, who were looking for a young quarterback to sit behind Tony Romo.
After Kellen Moore broke his leg in training camp, Prescott started the season as the back-up quarterback. He was forced into action, as Romo suffered a vertebral compression fracture during the preseason. The rookie seized the starting job and never looked back; he led the Cowboys into the playoffs and captured the 2016 Rookie of the Year title.
On the back of that promising campaign, Prescott kept hold of the starting job. He regressed slightly during his sophomore campaign but returned to form in 2018, winning his first career playoff game. The 2019 Dallas Cowboys started out strong but, of course, collapsed down the stretch; despite that disappointment, Prescott posted career highs in both touchdowns and passing yards.
The Dallas Cowboys have scored a bargain on their quarterback
During his four seasons with the Cowboys, Dak Prescott has won 40 games while throwing for 15,778 yards and 97 touchdowns. Despite that production, though, he’s made less than $125,000 per victory.
That reality stems from the fact that the Cowboys quarterback was still on his first NFL contract. Since Prescott was a fourth-round draft pick, he didn’t receive an exorbitant deal; in fact, his rookie base salary was only $450,000, albeit with a $383,393 signing bonus and $343,544 in incentives tacked on.
Over the entirety of his rookie contract, Prescott earned $4,903,172, which breaks down to $122,579 per victory. While that’s an impressive salary in the real world, it’s a bargain by NFL standards; the highest-paid quarterbacks take home more than $30 million per season.
One way or another, Dak Prescott is going to get paid
Although both parties are currently at an impasse, Dak Prescott’s days of being a bargain-basement quarterback are over. Someone, whether it’s the Dallas Cowboys or another NFL team, is going to give him a nice paycheck.
Earlier in the offseason, the Cowboys franchise-tagged Prescott; if the quarterback signs it, he’ll earn just under $29 million to suit up for the 2020 season. Although he could hold out, there’s still the possibility of working out a long-term deal.
In the middle of March, Chris Mortensen reported that the Cowboys were prepared to give Prescott more money than Jared Goff and Carson Wentz; that would put him in the neighborhood of $35 million per season, potentially making him the highest-paid player in the NFL. The issue seemed to be the length of the deal, with Dallas pushing for five years and Dak standing firm at four.
Whether he plays on a franchise tag, hammers out a new deal with the Dallas Cowboys, or sits out a year and joins a new team in 2021, one thing is clear: Dak Prescott is going to make up for his bargain-priced entry contract in a big way.