Throughout the last few weeks, the focus around the Dallas Cowboys has been on the pending contract situations with Pro Bowlers Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, who could both hit the free-agent market. It has put a significant amount of importance on the franchise to get new deals worked out with two of their core pieces to puzzle before things take a complicated turn. With that in mind, the Cowboys may have laid out their plan for how they will approach getting those respective situations resolved in the coming days.
Cowboys’ contract situations with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper
The last several days have seen greater importance placed publicly on getting Prescott under a new deal as there hasn’t been much progress with the contract discussions.
That saw the dialogue only pick at the NFL Scouting Combine last month for the first time since last September. It has created some outside concern that the two sides may not be able to come to terms before resorting to using the franchise tag.
Meanwhile, Cooper has continued to stay the course of wanting to remain with the Cowboys for the long haul. He recently stated that he wants to be with the team for the rest of his NFL career. That has only heightened the importance of working out a new contract to keep both Prescott and Cooper under new multi-year deals as central pieces to their offense.
Cowboys’ game plan for Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott
The Cowboys have a clear focus towards working out new deals with their respective Pro Bowl talents.
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Dallas looks to be hedging towards getting a contract in place first with Cooper as his agent appears ready to get things hammered out. That shouldn’t come as a surprise given that it has seemed that the star wideout looks to be closer towards the terms of a deal.
There have been reports that Cooper wants to be paid as one of the league’s highest-paid wide receivers, which gives the Cowboys a ballpark figure to work with in their discussions. There also appears to be an understanding on his end of things that the team needs to have his situation tucked away to handle Prescott’s contract finally.
Cooper has been a highly reliable asset in the Cowboys offense over the last two seasons as he has stepped in firmly as the team’s No.1 passing game option. He’s coming off his fourth 1,000 receiving yard campaign behind career highs with 1,189 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
How the franchise tag will factor into the equation
One of the underlying parts of this discussion has been the option of using the franchise tag if necessary.
There is a new development in the situation as the NFL has agreed to move the deadline to use it to March 16 at 11:59 a.m. ET instead of March 12 at 4 p.m. ET due to the player vote on the reworked CBA being delayed until Saturday.
That provides the Cowboys with more time to work out a new deal with their two Pro Bowlers. Dallas will likely be busy in contract discussions to avoid the use of the franchise tag. It’s something that the team wants to use as a last resort in either situation, which makes working out Cooper’s next deal that much more critical.
The Cowboys are reportedly comfortable with using the franchise tag on Prescott, but only if the two sides are unable to agree on a new deal. Ultimately, these next few days will be crucial for Dallas to get their star players locked into long-term contracts.