Troy Aikman: Franchise tag for Dak Prescott “could have damaging effects”

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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 “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.

39 responses to “Troy Aikman: Franchise tag for Dak Prescott “could have damaging effects”

  1. Honestly in a time like now with so many uncertainties, who literally gives a crap if there are “damaging effects” from Dak getting 30 mil instead of a long term deal. These guys are clueless, like for real damaging effects is the outcome of a pandemic not Dak and the Dallas Cowboys relationship. Honestly with sports cancelling people might start realizing how little we need it

  2. The guy is 1-2 in the postseason Troy. I think the Cowboys can remain mediocre without Dak

  3. Tag Dak.
    Then, if someone is willing to pay more than the Cowboys trade him.

    I like Dak more than most, but there’s a price that is to rich. But, not for a team like the Colts… they have the #13 pick, that should get the deal done.

  4. I think he should be traded. Time for Dallas to move on and draft another QB and start him.. Don’t like that? Ok, then swollow this…

    No way the Pats trade brady inside the AFC, The toughest Pats schedule is on the horizon. Brady’s trade value is better now than him being benched with his manning noodle arm strength.

    Trade Dak to Detroit, have Stafford go to the Pats, Send brady packing to JJ to wear the star.

    Dak gets his contract, Stafford finally plays for a team that can win, and Brady rides off into the sunset in the NFC with a team that can contend.

  5. Franchise tags are big deals Mike, how many times after the tag is applied is a team able to work out a long term deal with that same player? I’ve been looking for the stat, but it’s pretty rare.

  6. Yea sure Troy because the Cowboys have been SOOOOO successful with Dak at quarterback that signing him is their top priority, because if they don’t sign him they might not advance past the first round in the playoffs like they have the past….Oh yea my bad

  7. Im not sure Aikman ever even got paid 30 million for his entire career; now getting 30 mill for 1 year of play is “insulting”.

  8. Aikman is full of it. If Prescott only cared about winning football games, he would have signed the $30 mil contract he was offered. No, he is just like the rest, he cares about money first, the rest is secondary.

  9. Well, he could play the tag game like Cousins and that worked out very well for him. And I see similarities to them. Both played well at times but both had nagging doubts following them.

  10. Ya, listen to a QB talk about paying a QB.

    I’d tag him and pray someone else signs him.

    Dallas should go after Tannehilll

  11. The damaging effect for Dak is not signing a contract. Did Jerry forget about the last Eagle game? The Eagles had practice squad players in that game, yet Dak couldn’t score a touchdown.

  12. 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.

    Dak is not worried all about himself, Sounds like a bunch of double talk from Troy.
    Like $33 million worth.

  13. The tag route just won’t work for the Cowboys unless they are ready to pony up a LOT more money for Prescott next year. For QBs, a second and a projected third tag set the floor for the expected payout. That would be well over $36 million/year in this case. Mahomes contract may elevate the price even more.

    The best route for the Cowboys (if they are certain they don’t want to pay Prescott now) is to tag and trade him. Spend the saved cap dollars on a solid veteran QB, sign their other top free agents, and put the draft picks from the trade to good use.

    Getting Tannehill, for instance, would not be that big of a dropoff in QB play.

  14. Dak’s personality and character seem to outweigh his on-field accomplishments. Has there every been so much hype over a mediocre QB?

  15. baffles me how they are making this guy the second coming, hope they pay him WHATEVER soon so we can stop hearing about it everyday

  16. Aikman is correct. Sign the man NOW !!
    We went through this with Rodgers. Rodgers agent worked with the Packers to make the deal work for our salary cap for future years.
    The second thought,… Mahomes. Do you want to wait around and allow KC to put a monster deal on the table for him,…. and then be forced to use his deal as a guideline ?? I think not.
    Get it done quickly. He’s a good QB and only going to get better barring injuries.
    What’s the alternative Jerruh ?

  17. I don’t see any other team paying Prescott more than what the Cowboys already offered, or anything close for that matter. I don’t see how he has leverage.

    I would say to him – you want to explore free agency? Go right ahead. When you come back, your offer’s going to be $10 million/year less than it is if you sign now. No one will sign him for what he wants.

    In this draft, the Cowboys are within plausible reach of a top QB, and well within reach of a solid QB. Someone who just went 8-8 and couldn’t get it done with the playoffs in reach does not deserve to be the highest-paid player in football.

  18. They have no choice but to tag him … he has left money on the table already.

  19. Didn’t the Cowboys just get a new coach because Jason Garret was a mediocre coach?

    People want to act like Dax didn’t do his job well. Football is a team game and Dax did his job well. It’s not his fault the coaching was mediocre and sometimes outright bad.

    The smart move is doing a one year franchise, letting your new coach do his job, and if Dax does well you pay him. If Dax and McCarthy don’t get along or work well together, trade Dax mid-season.

    But go ahead and find a new QB Dallas. See if you don’t end up like the Broncos post-Manning with a new QB every year.

  20. vicnocal says:

    Im not sure Aikman ever even got paid 30 million for his entire career; now getting 30 mill for 1 year of play is “insulting”.

    His contract 27 years ago was 50 million dollars, chief.

  21. Dak is a good QB, but not elite. I like him, but not enough to hamstring the team for years. Is he a leader? Hard to say. He and Aikman are 2 completely different dudes. Troy’s main gift was leadership. Emmitt, Irvin, and the rest of those 90’s teams truly knew who the boss was.

  22. Dak hasn’t won anything with a rookie salary and a great Oline/RB around him… why not pay him 150 million and see how that goes.

  23. Dak hasn’t won anything on a rookie salary and a great Oline/RB around him but sure, give him a 150 million and see how that turns out.

  24. I would tag Dak with the 2 first round compensation tag and pray another team made him an offer…

  25. Dak is expendable…not worth tagging….rate his success when Ezekiel isn’t in the game to keep the pass rush honest. He’s an above average QB, but he’s nowhere near elite territory to pay 30 mil a year.

  26. look, this corporate boot-licker may be good with the business side, but on the field he is just your classic sunshine QB who runs up gaudy stats between the twenties but still just flat plain horrible reading defences in the red zone and did not one time (or certainly not more than once) beat a playoff calibre team with a winning record in a meaningful game last season, and not many more the year before;

    but for Elliot and Cooper, the Cowsills would be no better than the also-rans like cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit;

    imagine what Dallas could do with a bona fide QB like Brees or Brady or even (hold your nose) Rivers for a season;

    Prescott is really no better than what Chicago, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and Miami have for a QB, only difference is Prescott runs better;

    Prescott kind of reminds me of what used to be said about Bobby Douglass—both could throw a ball through a barn wall…trouble is, they first have to hit the barn;

    if Dallas give Prescott any kind of money above their previous offer—and trust me, thirty million a year is WAY too much for a journeyman QB who can only do one of the four Republicans on the field, Readin’, Ritin’, Rythmatic and Runnin’—they can forget about a super bowl for another 5-10 years;

    i’m certain Washington, Philadelphia and New York would be thrilled though;

  27. didn’t Aikman suffer a lot of concussions during his career?

    perhaps they are clouding his judgement because as we speak there are two QBs in the booth Sundays and a third right here on PFT who are better than Prescott;

  28. In what universe does $30M not equate to long-term “security?”

    Give me a break.

  29. These cowboys fans act like they’ve had other QBs in the last 25 years who have better stats than this guy. Lol. Go ahead & pray that one of the top 10 QBs leaves your team, soon you’ll have another Quincy for cheap or Retread like Bledsoe & let’s see how that works. Lol

  30. I don’t understand using the exclusive tag on him. Using the non-exclusive tag might be better. First, it’s for a lot less money. Second, if another team shows enough interest (i.e., is dumb enough) in giving up two first-round picks that would be a windfall for the Cowboys. Then they could use that money to sign a journeyman like Rivers and draft a QB this year and groom him for the position. Giving Dak $31M and $36M in successive years would be just stupid. For what? He’s mediocre and certainly not worth $67M for two years.

  31. You guys are clueless, if you don’t think another team would jump at the chance to pay Dak 35 million plus.
    Tampa would jump at the chance. It’s not what you are are worth, it’s when it’s your time…simple QB economics. See Goff, Wentz, Cousins and Stafford. What have they won? Exactly. And now it’s Dak turn. Dallas will pay and the deal will be huge!
    See you at the bank, $Dak$.

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