While Dak Prescott can put Patrick Mahomes to shame even without a long-term deal, the ultimate goal for both he and the Dallas Cowboys should be to sign a contract extension. After all, the two-time Pro Bowler has been one of the NFL’s biggest bargains since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in 2016. Though Jerry Jones failed to come terms with his quarterback this offseason, the Cowboys just executed a $12 million move that should secure Prescott’s future in Dallas.
The Cowboys still need to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal
The topic of Dak Prescott’s contract has lingered in Dallas for essentially a year. Before the 2019 season began, he turned down an offer and bet on himself. The gamble paid off…sort of.
Prescott threw for a career-high 4,902 yards. He also set a personal best with 30 passing touchdowns. However, the Cowboys went 8-8 and failed to qualify for the playoffs. That represented the second time in four years that Dallas did not earn a postseason berth.
Heading into the offseason, rumors swirled with big numbers thrown around. Jerry Jones and the Cowboys reportedly wanted Prescott to sign a five-year deal. The dual-threat star did not want to lock himself into such a lengthy extension.
Dallas used the franchise tag to retain Prescott’s services for at least the next year. However, after months of back-and-forth talks, no deal materialized. Though the two-time Pro Bowler will make $31.4 million this season, Prescott’s future in Dallas remains uncertain given the lack of a multi-year commitment.
Dallas executes a $12 million move to secure Prescott’s future
Though the Cowboys did not sign Dak Prescott to a long-term contract this offseason, it sure seems like they are preparing to do so sooner than later. At least, that’s the takeaway based on some of their recent contractual moves. After creating about $15 million in cap space by restructuring Tyron Smith’s and Zack Martin’s deals, the Cowboys executed another financial move to secure Prescott’s future.
According to ESPN, Dallas created an additional $12 million in cap space by signing DeMarcus Lawrence to a one-year voidable extension. The Cowboys achieved that by converting $15 million of his $16.9 base salary into a signing bonus. In total, Dallas created about $27 million in cap room for 2021 with the recent restructures.
Of course, that space should get used up by Prescott, who will likely command at least $37 million annually on a long-term deal. And that number could rise even higher if he and the Cowboys live up to their terrifying potential this season.
A monster season will lead to a monster payday
Carving out another $27 million in cap space seems like a sound move by Jerry Jones. But he may need even more room if Dak Prescott takes another step forward in the fifth year of his NFL career.
On paper, the Cowboys feature one of the most electrifying offenses in the league. Amari Cooper just signed a $100 million contract after leading the team with 79 catches for 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael Gallup broke out with 1,107 receiving yards of his own. Dallas also added CeeDee Lamb, who totaled 3,292 receiving yards and 33 total touchdowns in three years at Oklahoma.
Plus, Jones revealed that the Cowboys plan on utilizing Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard more prominently in the passing game. All of that sets Prescott up for a potentially monstrous campaign. If he surpasses last year’s numbers and leads Dallas on a deep playoff run, Jones will have no choice but to hand him a blank check.
No pressure, Dak.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.