This feels like a sick case of deja vu. It’s another offseason where we are still questioning whether quarterback Dak Prescott will receive a long-term contract from the Dallas Cowboys or not. He certainly deserves it, but it just seems like team owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys refuse to give him what he wants. While this situation has been a heated topic of debate for over a year now, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN recently discussed it, and he had a stern message for Jones.
Dak Prescott may not receive a long-term contract from the Cowboys this offseason
Dak Prescott was coming off an incredible season in 2019. He threw for over 4,900 yards and had 30 touchdown passes. He was then off to an excellent start in 2020. However, Prescott got hurt in Week 5 and missed the rest of the season.
Despite the injury, though, Prescott’s value actually increased in 2020 due to the way that the Cowboys played after he went down. They ultimately went from an 8-8 team in 2019 to a 6-10 team in 2020. That alone proves that they really need to get him signed, as they probably don’t want to continue dealing with below-average quarterback play moving forward.
However, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington recently reported on Get Up that the Cowboys will “probably” place the franchise tag on Prescott again if they can’t agree to a contract by the deadline, according to Bleacher Report.
“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, per Bleacher Report.
If the Cowboys use the franchise tag on Prescott for 2021, after also using it on him in 2020, he will make about $37.7 million, according to CBS Sports. However, they essentially have to agree to a contract with him before the 2022 season, as the franchise tag would then cost them over $50 million for that year. If they don’t use the franchise tag on Dak Prescott for the 2022 season, and if he doesn’t receive a long-term contract by then, he would then ultimately become an unrestricted free agent.
What’s frustrating for many fans and followers of the NFL, is that Dak Prescott’s performance on the field for the Cowboys has certainly warranted a long-term deal. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN seems to agree, too, as he sent out a stern message to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith sends a stern message to Jerry Jones
Stephen A. Smith recently appeared on his ESPN show, First Take, and he was not happy about the Dak Prescott contract situation.
“No one has looked Jerry Jones in the face and challenged him,” Smith said on the Feb. 23 episode. “Why? If this were Tony Romo what would you do? Why with this guy; what’s the problem? What’s the alternative? Andy Dalton? What’s the alternative? Where you going? You saw what Ezekiel Elliott did without him last year.”
Smith then discussed how no one really highlighted the Cowboys’ 2020 struggles when Dak Prescott was healthy. They only brought them up once he went down.
“Why? Because they were averaging over 30 points a game and Dak Prescott was doing his thing, and still there’s no contract,” Smith said. “Why? Why? Why this guy? Why hasn’t somebody pinned Jerry Jones down to explain that? You gotta guy that conducts himself the way that he conducts himself and plays the way that he plays, and leads the way that he leads. … There’s something else going on here, Louis Riddick. There’s something else going on here. It doesn’t make any sense, man.”
Smith certainly makes some great points. Dak Prescott has proven that he is the real deal. So, why is there no contract?
Dak Prescott has proven that he deserves a new contract
Whenever Dak Prescott is in his contract negotiations with the Cowboys, all he should have to do is show them his accomplishments.
Prescott was a fourth-round pick in 2016, and led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the playoffs in his rookie season. He then led them to another playoff appearance in 2018.
Overall in his career, Prescott is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and has thrown for 17,634 yards, 106 touchdowns, and only 40 interceptions in 69 games. He had also really taken a big step toward that elite category during his last two seasons. In 2019 and 2020, Prescott threw for 321.8 passing yards per game in 21 games to go with 39 touchdowns.
Dak Prescott knows that he deserves a new contract with the Cowboys. We all know it. So, as Stephen A. Smith asked, why hasn’t Jerry Jones and the team rewarded him with one? Maybe, we will eventually find out, or perhaps the team will wise up and give him one. Time will tell.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference