The Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott continue to face a Monday deadline for working out a new contract or entering phase one of the franchise-tag dance. Hall of Fame Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman suggests that the two sides get a deal done.
“I know [Cowboys owner] Jerry [Jones] has talked about wanting to sign him,” Aikman said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via NFL.com. “To me it is a no-brainer, you’re right. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened. I’d hate to think what might happen or how Dak might feel if they end up going the franchise tag route. I just don’t think that’s gonna be in the best interest of all parties. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the Cowboys and it could have damaging effects in my opinion. I’m hoping they get a deal done.”
I disagree with Aikman. The exclusive version of the franchise tag would give Prescott a salary of roughly $31 million in 2020, $29 million more than he made in 2019. And in 2019, he played with the same future security that he’d have under the franchise tag: None.
Prescott has shown that he can handle the business realities of the NFL without losing focus or becoming, to use the technical term, butt hurt. If the Cowboys tag him, he’ll move on to the next step of the Football Business Flow Chart, deciding whether to accept the team’s best offer made before the start of the offseason program or the best offer made before the July 15 deadline for working out a long-term deal. He’ll also have to decide whether to show up for offseason workouts and, eventually, training camp and the preseason.
Then, after 2020, the two sides can do it all again next year, with Prescott getting a 20-percent bump in pay unless the two sides work out a new contract.
Through it all, Prescott will continue to be the guy he’s always been.
“I’ve never seen him in a situation where he’s not been totally authentic, ” Aikman said of Prescott. “I think that’s what’s endeared him to the players. He’s old school in the sense that he, honestly, in a time when I think more and more players are worried more about themselves, he’s an old-school guy that truly only cares about winning football games. It’s been refreshing. I love him. I hope he gets his money, he deserves it and I believe he will.”
And he will, either through a long-term contract or one year at a time.