With Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott‘s compound ankle fracture repaired, the recovery and rehab period begins. Team owner Jerry Jones is confident that it will end in time for Dak to get in some work during the offseason program — if of course there is one.
Dak “should be ready to go for our spring work, the latter part of the spring work,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “Knowing Dak and his makeup, he’ll be back out there soon.”
Jones said doctors told him that an April/early May return “should be no problem” for Prescott.
The problem will come from the contractual arrangements pursuant to which Dak returns. Absent a long-term deal by the moment the franchise-tag window closes, the Cowboys will have to choose between the $37.68 million franchise tag for 2021 or letting Dak hit the open market.
“[T]o have a team, we have to be mindful how we dole out our resources,” Jones said Tuesday, via Jonah Javad of WFAA. “It’s part of the game. It’s the business and contract part.”
It’s a huge part in this case, given the possibility that the salary cap will be as low as $175 million in 2021. If Dak ultimately refuses to accept a long-term deal and tells the Cowboys to tag him or let him hit the market, the Cowboys will have to decide whether to invest up to 21.5 percent of the 2021 before knowing with certainty that Prescott is or will be 100 percent.
Given the way Dak has handled his business interests in the past, there’s no reason to believe he’ll suddenly decide to forfeit his leverage and accept a team-friendly deal. Given the circumstances, and despite his recent injury, he continues to hold all the cards.