Does Dak Prescott Deserve a Massive Contract From the Cowboys?

Dallas has until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with Prescott

Does Dak Prescott Deserve a Massive Contract From the Cowboys?
Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys warms up. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty)
Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / May 22, 2020 10:07 am

Should the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones open the vault to pay 26-year-old quarterback Dak Prescott?That’s the $31.4 million question … for now.

That is the amount the team will have to pay Prescott this season unless they can work out a long-term deal with him by July 15 after tagging the young QB with the exclusive franchise tag.

Should the sides fail to work out a deal by the 15th, Prescott will have to play the 2020 season under the tag or sit out, as he will no longer be eligible to sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys until after the season ends. Prescott is said to be seeking a four-year deal that will make him the highest or second-highest paid quarterback in the league and reportedly already turned down a five-year deal that would have been worth $175 million.

Why would he turn it down? Because, at 26, Prescott will theoretically have the chance to return to the negotiating table by the time he is 30 to sign another lucrative contract.

It’s an interesting position for both sides, as there is certainly some question about whether Prescott, who threw for a career-best 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns with a 99.7 quarterback rating last season, deserves to be paid like one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.

He’s good, but does he really deserve to be paid as much or more than Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers? The reality that the NFL salary cap will likely plummet in 2021 thanks to lost revenue due to COVID-19 only complicates that question.

Due to all that uncertainty, it seems like the most rational thing to do is to let this season play out and see how the chips fall. Prescott told USA Today he’d be fine with that arrangement as he believes his value will go up, not down.

“Obviously, I want to win. I’m somebody that I’ve gambled on myself my whole life. That’s kind of what it is. I’ve been doubted and told people they’re wrong,” Prescott said. “When you’re playing out a situation, when you’re playing out a contract, there’s no different mindset than that.”

Should the sides fail to reach a deal prior to next season, Dallas can always tag Prescott again at a cost of $37.68 million, a figure that would make him the NFL’s highest-paid QB in terms of average salary. Or, they can part ways with him and go with Andy Dalton instead.

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