Over the last two seasons, the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have found themselves in distant discussions regarding an upcoming extension. With an exclusive franchise tag deadline of March 9th approaching, Prescott may ultimately be pushed into playing under a franchise tag for the second consecutive season. In the 2021 season, the franchise tag would be worth $37.7 million.
Last season specifically, the two sides spent time negotiating a long-term extension. When they couldn’t ultimately agree on a new deal, Prescott played under a $31 million franchise tag. In Week 5 against the New York Giants, the two-time Pro Bowl talent was forced to undergo season-ending surgery for a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle.
Despite the gruesome injury, the Cowboys expect for Prescott to fully recover and include him in their long-term plans. Prescott previously requested a four-year contract that would pay him more than $35 million annually. Meanwhile, Dallas preferred a longer commitment that was deemed more “team-friendly”.
Rightfully so, it appears the Cowboys are beginning to act under a sense of urgency in order to sign Prescott to a long-term deal. With quarterbacks such as Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Aaron Rodgers reaching the end of their current contracts, waiting any more time to sign Prescott could result in an inflated annual salary.
At the same time, the Cowboys must understand the severity of their commitment. If they choose to sign Prescott to a long-term deal, which has been rumored to now be closer to the $40 million annual mark, it could impact their other free agent plans. The team currently has 16 free agents; four of which are restricted.
Assuming Prescott is franchise tagged on March 9th, the two sides will then have until July 15th to agree to a long-term deal. However, it’s in the writing that if no long-term deal is reached before then, the Cowboys may be forced to move on from their quarterback in 2022.