National Football League
The contract drama between Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott continues
National Football League

The contract drama between Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott continues

Updated Feb. 25, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET

While much has changed, some things stay the same.

An example of the latter: The seemingly never-ending Dak Prescott saga with the Dallas Cowboys

After failing to agree on a long-term extension last offseason, Prescott was franchise tagged in 2020, and the relationship seems to be headed in the same direction in 2021.

If the club tags him a second time, Prescott's career might come to an end in Dallas. So with three options on the table for the Cowboys, people are wondering what Dallas will do.


Colin Cowherd believes the club is going to tag him a second time, Prescott will prove his worth, and then the Cowboys will lock the franchise quarterback up for the foreseeable future.

"In a year from now, I won't talk have to talk about this because they won't franchise tag him a third time, and Dak will be a Cowboy for four to five years."

March 9 is the deadline for teams to franchise tag players for the upcoming season, and reportedly there hasn't been much communication between Prescott and the club of late.

If the two sides again reach an impasse, Prescott is expected to play a second season under the tag, with his salary increasing from a fully guaranteed one-year deal of $31.4 million to $37.7 million. 

In 2020, playing under the tag, Prescott only started five games under first-year head coach Mike McCarthy before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

However, Prescott did quite a bit in limited time, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 450 yards three times in a single season, and the first to do so in three consecutive weeks.

The Cowboys posted a 2-3 record with Prescott while scoring 32.6 points per game last season, and were 4-7 without him while averaging just 21.1 points, and that's why Marcellus Wiley argues the Cowboys should pony up and pay the starter under center.

"The Cowboys are not as good without Dak as they are with Dak, that's real. That's a real ring, right there when you look at it, in terms of what this could become if this marriage is actually going to come to fruition."

Prescott is looking for a contract in the camp of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league, joining the likes of Patrick Mahomes and his 10-year deal, which averages $45 million per year, Watson’s four-year deal, which averages $39 million per year, and Wilson’s four-year deal, which averages $35 million per year.

Before 2020, Prescott had not missed a single game in his first four seasons.

Despite seeing limited action in his fifth year in the league, Prescott has the most passing yards (17,634), passing touchdowns (106), and the best passer rating (97.3) by a Cowboys quarterback through their first five seasons.

In addition, including the postseason, Prescott boasts a 43-29 record (.597) as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. That win percentage ranks ninth among active quarterbacks with at least 16 starts.

Even with franchise-bests, not everyone is sold on Prescott being the guy for the Big D, including Jason McIntyre.

"Maybe we just let Dak walk in free agency and start over ... I think we just part ways now. We punt and we have to hit the reset button because this is not a Super Bowl team."

The Cowboys own the 10th overall pick in the 2021 draft, and if Prescott isn't signed long term, the team could look to draft a new face of the franchise.

It's unlikely Clemson's Trevor Lawrence will be available, but Ohio State's Justin FieldsBYU's Zach WilsonNorth Dakota State's Trey Lance could land in Dallas' lap. 

If history is any indicator, it seems unlikely the Cowboys will go that route, as Dallas hasn’t picked a quarterback in the first round since Troy Aikman in 1989.

While the Cowboys might not be on the clock for a quarterback in the draft, the time is certainly ticking away regarding Prescott.


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