Dak Prescott prevents Cowboys from changing their mind and yanking the franchise tender

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As reported initially by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, PFT has confirmed that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will sign the exclusive franchise tender. He’s guaranteed to make $31.4 million in 2020.

So why sign it now, several weeks before the deadline for doing a long-term deal? Prescott sacrifices the ability to hold out during training camp and the preseason, but that’s not something he was inclined to do. By regarding his situation as a contract year that pays out $31.4 million with the potential to make $37.68 million if they tag him in 2021, Prescott’s bests interests are served by showing up and preparing to perform at the highest level. Unlike former Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who skipped all of the 2017 training camp and preseason, Prescott needs work and reps and preparation. Tailback is largely a plug-and-play position. Quarterback isn’t, especially with a new head coach.

So even though Prescott had the ability to stay away — and to threaten to do so in advance of the July 15 deadline — he ultimately wasn’t going to do it.

Conversely, Prescott couldn’t know for sure whether the Cowboys would decide to threaten to rescind the tender. Yes, COO Stephen Jones said on #PFTPM several weeks back that the team definitely would not be rescinding the franchise tender. But that was hardly binding. Ten years ago, for example, owner Jerry Jones said he’d definitely not be firing coach Wade Phillips during the season — and then Jones did.

At some level, Prescott and his agents had to be concerned that the Joneses would suggest as the clock approaches 4:00 p.m. ET on July 15 that, if he doesn’t accept their best offer, they’d take that $31.4 million, sign Jadeveon Clowney, trade for Jamal Adams, and then see what they can do with Andy Dalton (or maybe Cam Newton) at quarterback. And if that had happened, what would Dak have gotten on the open market at a time when depth charts are set and budgets are turned upside down?

Now, the issue is framed: Prescott makes $31.4 million this year, not matter what. Next year, he gets $37.68 million, if they tag him again. In 2022, it’s more than $45 million under the transition tag, more than $54 million under the franchise tag, a long-term, deal or free agency. The question continues to be what will the Cowboys offer to Prescott in exchange for the considerable bird perched in his hand?

By signing the tender, that bird cannot fly away. Which ultimately is why Prescott signed it now, as the final stages of negotiations on a long-term deal are looming.

52 responses to “Dak Prescott prevents Cowboys from changing their mind and yanking the franchise tender

  1. May be the smartest thing Dak has done.
    The Cowboys hosed themselves on this one.
    Clowney + Adams would have given that defense some serious teeth.
    With a new HC and a new system, I don’t see Dalton doing any worse than what Dak would have.

  2. 31.4 million reasons to sign. I thought Dak was maybe a little slow , but evidently 31.4 million dollars makes you smart’en up.

  3. FACT: Jerry Jones NEEDED the COVID-19 pandemic just to get a franchise tag signed.
    Still no deal, a year after he puffed how he gets deals done, right Dallas?

  4. $31.4 million is WAY too much for Dak. He should have signed that contract before the ink dried on it.

  5. Clearly the team wanted him to sign it, or it would have already been taken away. It keep all their options open. If Prescott does anything less than get them to the conference championship, he’s kidding himself if he thinks he’s going to have more leverage next offseason.

    Maybe his agent fooled him into thinking he can start from wherever Mahomes ends up with his contract. If so, he’s REALLY kidding himself.

  6. These contracts are beyond ridiculous and out of touch with today’s world. The NFL market and it’s player’s contracts will have no choice but to adjust in the future considering there will be no football played at all in 2020 and the fact that people as a whole don’t have disposable income like they once did. A rude awakening is coming.

  7. By signing it, I believe he and all other NFL players under contract get paid even if there is no season.

  8. If nothing else, Dak has shown he’s a helluva lot smarter than either of the Jones boys.

  9. This is why Jerrah will never win a title again. We needed Adams and Clowney not an overpaid QB. Smh!

  10. He’s all done after this season in Dallas anyway. Do people think suddenly he’s going to make huge strides? He’s shown you he can’t get it done when the lights are the brightest, and now that he’s gonna be getting paid I don’t see him working even harder I see the exact opposite happening

  11. The chances of the Cowboys rescinding the franchise was zero. Goose egg. Nada. Zilch.

  12. Nice piece of change for a season that’s not going to get played. Maybe Dak decided to take what he could get before the salary cap got hosed so bad long term numbers mean nothing.

  13. Wonder if the Cowboys might still withdraw it in next couple of days? Wouldn’t that be hilarious. Leverage would disappear quickly if that happens. Then; both camps would want to get a Long term deal done.

  14. Who in their right mind would not sign that deal? Gotta give this one to Jerry and co. Signing Dalton was genius! Even better, Dalton gets a chance to play, and wins the superbowl. Cant make this sheet up.

  15. DFWHawkGuy says:
    June 21, 2020 at 10:21 pm
    Oh great… just when the Pats fall apart and now a new dynasty is born.
    __________________________________________
    A dynasty that just went 8-8 and only beat two teams that ended their season .500 or better?

  16. Here’s a stupid question, what happens if there’s a strike or football is cancelled this season, what happens then? I assume franchise tag is fully guaranteed but I’m sure the Owners will meet and and talk about it…

  17. Dallas was stupid…. they should have rescinded the tag…. now they are stuck with s QB WORTH 20 million max…..

  18. Not as out of line as you might think. Euro soccer players are making 40-60M a yr. Mahomes will be in that company soon. As long as owners are willing to pay that kind of coin, what’s Zak gonna do, say no!

  19. Dak should have taken the long-term offer on the table when he had the chance because it might not be there next year. There’s talk that if games are played without fans, the lost revenue teams will have to absorb will be large enough so that next year’s salary cap will actually DECREASE by around $40m/team. FORTY MILLION!

    If things play out that way, no team will have the money to franchise tag anyone so that option won’t be on the table for Dak and most likely neither will a long-term offer at say $33m-$35m/yr. If next year’s salary cap gets slashed by $30-$40m look for a flood of over priced veterans to hit the market with nobody having the money to sign them at anything more than the veteran’s minimum.

    Covid is turning out to be the great equalizer!

  20. Congratulations Dallas! You have Kirk Cousins Jr. at QB. Maybe you’ll get lucky and some team will overpay him for you after this year. Otherwise, have fun being bounced in the wild card round for the foreseeable future.

  21. Dak making close to Russell Wilson money is hilarious.

    I would rather have Dalton and 30 mil worth of defensive additions. Now they have two starting QBs who play at about the same level…good not great.

    As a Seahawks fan I am smiling.

  22. sflaguy88 says:
    June 22, 2020 at 12:23 am
    Not as out of line as you might think. Euro soccer players are making 40-60M a yr. Mahomes will be in that company soon. As long as owners are willing to pay that kind of coin, what’s Zak gonna do, say no!

    Some of them…. albeit just a few are on way more than 60m.
    Mahomes won’t ever likely play to get the amount of coin Messi got (over 1 year) 84m Euros….so 94m dollars……..
    Yeah.

  23. sflaguy88 says:
    June 22, 2020 at 12:23 am
    Not as out of line as you might think. Euro soccer players are making 40-60M a yr. Mahomes will be in that company soon. As long as owners are willing to pay that kind of coin, what’s Zak gonna do, say no! Soccer rosters are 30 players 18 on game day were talking football not futbol !

  24. The headline could also be written as, “Dallas forces Dak to report for off-season activities and be ready to start the season.”

  25. Kirk Cousins all over again. Dallas will make him filthy rich for 3 more seasons of play and then he will leave.

  26. For those of you saying $31.4 mil is TOO MUCH for Dak, Jerry is offering him $35-36 mil per year over 5 years, but Dak wants a 4 year deal. No, he isn’t the best QB. But that’s how the QB market works. The last one to sign tops the previous one. Look at Jimmy G! He got a 5yr $137.5 mil deal after 5 or 6 starts!!

  27. The cowboy’s were never going to pull the tag, they do want Dak long term.

  28. Wait to you see what happens to the cap after all of this ?And then the franchise tag will follow with it

  29. he signed it because he knows there wont be a season, so he’d better get something guaranteed

  30. Wonder if the Cowboys might still withdraw it in next couple of days? Wouldn’t that be hilarious. Leverage would disappear quickly if that happens. Then; both camps would want to get a Long term deal done.
    ——————————————-
    Uh…now that Dak has signed it, the Cowboys CAN’T rescind it.

  31. said it once i’l say it again…take away the games vs the gmen, skins and phins and this dude was 3-8 with all of that talent surrounding him..lol

  32. Jerry out smarted himself on this Dak situation because he could’ve got him at 20 million a year 2 years ago, but now you have to over pay and it will affect the team…. Poor management is the main reason these NFL teams don’t win championship.

  33. “Never get $37 mil next year as cap will decrease.”

    That will not affect this situation I believe. If a team tags a player it automatically goes up by 20% the following season irregardless of the cap.

    That is of course, if the Cowboys were to tag him 2 years running, which seems unlikely given that teams may well have a lower cap to work with next season.

  34. What a screwed up season. They are gonna pay that and there’s still a huge likelihood that they won’t be able to play games, unless the NFL docs have come up with some kind of special mask to be worn at all times in workouts, training camp, preseason and the season.

  35. pbdisciple says:
    June 21, 2020 at 10:25 pm
    Never get $37 mil next year as cap will decrease.
    ———————————————–

    wrong…the 2nd year tag has nothing to do with the cap. It is contractually bargained for. Unless you are simply saying they will not tag him again which may be the case, but then Dallas starts all over from square 1 again when they could have saved the 31 and used it elsewhere for a long term sign.

  36. What else was either party going to do? He’s Dallas’ starting QB, and with all due respect, Andy Dalton is not. It’s great money that will set Dak up for life. I doubt that a long term deal gets done. Looks like another situation like Kirk Cousins had in DC. Honestly, if Dak were smart, he’d swallow his pride and sign something long term. He’s not going to find a better situation than he has in Dallas.

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