Kirk Cousins played under the franchise tag twice, in 2016 and again in 2017, before leaving for the Vikings in free agency in 2018. He originally signed a three-year, $84 million deal with the Vikings before agreeing to a two-year, $66 million extension this offseason.
It worked out for Cousins, who was the first quarterback to play under the franchise tag since Drew Brees in 2005 with the Chargers. That worked out for Brees, too.
Cousins thus is highly qualified to give Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott advice.
The Cowboys used the $31.4 million tag on Prescott this offseason but have yet to reach a long-term agreement with a July 15 deadline looming.
“Anybody who I run into who’s been franchise tagged, we have one on our team this year in Anthony Harris, I believe the franchise tag can be your friend,” Cousins said on ESPN on Thursday night. “I don’t think it’s something to be disappointed with. I think it enables you to be well compensated, and deservedly so, for the upcoming season. Then, I always say the cream will rise to the top. If you’re good enough, the cream’s going to rise to the top, and you’re going to get compensated the way you want to. Sometimes it doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like, but if you deserve it, and you’ve earned it, it’s going to happen. So you’ve just got to stay the course and stay patient. Certainly in my journey, it all worked out. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.
“So my message to Dak, when I saw him midseason last year, was, ‘Hey, whatever happens, don’t be afraid of the tag. It can be your friend, and you can use it to your advantage.'”