National Football League

Dak Prescott, Cowboys agree to four-year, $160 million contract

March 8

All of the uncertainty surrounding the future of Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys is over.

It ended just 24 hours before the NFL’s deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag.

According to Adam Schefter, the deal is for four years and $160 million, with a record $126 million of that money guaranteed. The first three years average out to $42 million per year.

Had the Cowboys slapped a franchise tag on Prescott for a second consecutive season, he would have earned $37.1 million. They also would have lost considerable leverage, assuming Prescott stayed healthy, because he would have faced either a record third straight franchise tag (at an untenable $54 million) or free agency the following season.

Prescott knew this, of course, which is why he held firm, wanting a deal worth $40 million-plus per year, as FOX Sports' Martin Rogers detailed.

According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted that he lacked leverage in negotiations.

Prescott is now the second-highest paid quarterback in NFL history in terms of per-year average, trailing only Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes.

Geoff Schwartz said both sides ultimately won in this deal, with Prescott getting the years he wanted on the contract and the Cowboys locking up their QB.

If years were the issue, as Schwartz pointed out, it appears that the sides made a compromise. According to Schefter, the contract is actually for six years but voids to four years to help the Cowboys with the salary cap.

Todd Archer of detailed last month how that could work.

From the Cowboys' perspective, the one real question now is Prescott’s health.

The 27-year-old quarterback played just five games in 2020 before going down with an ugly ankle injury. The Cowboys were just 2-3 in those five games, but Prescott played well, passing for 1,856 yards and nine touchdowns, good for a career-best average of 371.2 yards per game.

Prior to the 2020 season, Prescott had not missed a game across four seasons. In 2019, he set career bests in passing yardage (4,902), touchdowns (30) and yards per attempt (8.2).

Reactions to the deal came in fast and furious from across the NFL.

Prescott's older brother posted a touching photo.

Some faulted the Cowboys for not locking up Prescott sooner.

But most simply had fun with it.

This is a developing story.

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