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Plans Prescott

Dak Prescott plans to sign franchise tag by Monday, source says – ESPN

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott plans to sign his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tender by Monday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The two sides still have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. The Cowboys had placed the franchise tag on Prescott on March 18.

By signing his franchise tender, Prescott will be contractually obligated to report to training camp on time, whether or not he and the Cowboys can figure out a long-term deal.

Prescott’s decision to sign the franchise tender is not an indication that a long-term agreement is close, league sources told ESPN’s Ed Werder.

The fact that Prescott will be one of the highest-paid players in the NFL — and the potential his franchise tag increases by a mandatory 20% next season to $37.7 million with a flat or lower cap in 2021 — is incentive for Dallas to secure a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.

Said one source of the pressure on the Cowboys: “Their problem is the second year, because this salary cap is going to crash unless there’s an intermediate deal. They would have to gut their team to keep him then. So there’s even more incentive for the Cowboys to do a long-term deal with Dak because of the coronavirus and where the cap might be next year.”

This offseason, the Cowboys made a long-term offer to Prescott that would put him among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, ESPN’s Todd Archer previously reported. Seattle‘s Russell Wilson is the highest paid at $35 million per season, followed by Pittsburgh‘s Ben Roethlisberger at $34 million.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have repeatedly expressed their belief that Prescott is the team’s quarterback of the future and capable of leading the franchise back to a Super Bowl. Prescott, who turns 27 on July 29, has said on multiple occasions that he never wanted to leave the Cowboys.

The Cowboys had hoped to sign Prescott to an extension last offseason that would have guaranteed him nine figures, but the quarterback bet on himself, willing to play for $2.02 million in 2019.

Prescott completed 388 of 596 passes for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdown passes last season. Despite career highs in yardage and touchdowns, Prescott had his worst record as a starter (8-8) as the Cowboys missed the playoffs. His growth as a passer, however, was obvious as the Cowboys had two 1,000-yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

The Cowboys took Prescott with their second pick of the fourth round in the 2016 draft — a compensatory pick at No. 135 overall. When Tony Romo went down in the 2016 preseason with a back injury, the Cowboys were forced to turn to Prescott, and he has started each of Dallas’ 64 games since.

Prescott was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2016 after throwing 23 touchdown passes to four interceptions as Dallas went 13-3. The Cowboys had home-field advantage in the NFC but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Green Bay Packers on a last-second field goal.

In 2018, Prescott guided the Cowboys back to the playoffs after a 3-5 start and won his first postseason game in the wild-card round against the Seahawks. The Cowboys lost in the divisional round to the Los Angeles Rams.

In his four seasons, Prescott ranks among the top five quarterbacks in wins (40), passing touchdowns (97), rushing TDs (21) and Total QBR (68), becoming one of the NFL’s biggest bargains. He earned $4 million in salary and signing bonus the past four seasons.

Prescott has thrown for 15,778 yards with 36 interceptions in his career. He has 12 300-yard passing games, one behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for second in team history. Prescott’s 21 career rushing touchdowns is one more than Hall of Famer Roger Staubach for the most by a quarterback in team history.

ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.

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Cowboys Prescott

Why Cowboys QB Dak Prescott didn’t ask for $45 million in Year 5 – USA TODAY

, USA TODAY
Published 7:04 p.m. ET May 21, 2020 | Updated 2:05 a.m. ET May 22, 2020

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SportsPulse: Our very own Cowboys insider Jori Epstein sat down with former Cowboys great DeMarcus Ware to get his thoughts on Dak Prescott’s lingering contract negotiations and what advice he’d give him dealing with Jerry Jones.

USA TODAY

The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

Otherwise, Prescott will play 2020 for the Cowboys on a $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag. Negotiations remain stuck over factors including length of contract.

Prescott and his representation aren’t entertaining extensions longer than four seasons. The Cowboys want to lock up their franchise quarterback for at least five. It’s that dispute that didn’t line up with a report that gained traction this week from former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, who now works for NBC Sports.

“From what I know of the situation, and I know from some people who are in the know that he’s been offered five years, $175 million,” Simms said Tuesday on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “He wants a four-year deal. If they do agree to a five-year deal, they would like a really big number at the end of that fifth year to cover their butts for what the market might be at the position five years from now. And I’ve heard he’s asking for somewhere like north of $45 million in that fifth year.”

Prescott has not requested a fifth-year salary of $45 million or more, his representation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday afternoon. Prescott has not, in fact, requested a fifth-year salary of any amount: His desire to sign a deal no longer than four years remains firm.

FWIW re talk of a 5-year, $175 million offer to Dak Prescott…nothing’s changed on his side. Dak wants a four-year deal from Cowboys. He’s not entertaining offers of more than four years. Guarantees, structure of contract are important beyond potential max value 🤷

— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) May 21, 2020

The NFL salary cap has risen steadily in recent years, including a $10 million jump this offseason to $198.2 million. That number is expected to continue to rise over time. Novel coronavirus-related changes could reduce 2020 revenue and create a one-year setback. But multiple factors bode well long-term.

To start, NFL popularity is strong: TV ratings increased 5 percent from 2018 to 2019, according to Nielsen, and NFL games were 41 of the 50 most-watched broadcasts on television in 2019. The product itself is expanding, too. The NFL and NFL Players Association ratified their next collective bargaining agreement, agreeing to expand the playoff pool and add a 17th game to the regular-season schedule beginning in 2021. Add increased momentum for legalization of sports gambling and a looming TV deal extension, and the proverbial pie stands to grow.

“For somebody to say you can only take so much because of the salary cap or you can only do this or that, I don’t know how fair that is to say,” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports last summer. “Because with gambling, with everything going into this league, everything is going to continue to keep going up.

“At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, a year or two later, you’re not going to be the highest-paid. That’s just the way the game goes.”

These trends fuel Prescott’s pursuit of a shorter deal. A shorter deal enables the quarterback — who, despite having 64 starts under his belt, is just 26 years old — to return to the negotiating table sooner. A shorter deal reduces the chance that should Prescott continue to improve with new coach Mike McCarthy, his deal ends up far beneath the value of a market that has trended consistently up. In 2019, Prescott threw for a career-best 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. His 99.7 rating was his best since a rookie-season 104.9 in 2016.

The Seahawks, Eagles and Rams last year signed quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff to four-year extensions, respectively. Each had years remaining on his existing deal at the time.

The Cowboys and Prescott discussed his extension last offseason but didn’t reach agreement. From September to February, they didn’t negotiate further. In March, the Cowboys designated Prescott with an exclusive franchise tag that prevented him from negotiating with other teams.

There has not been momentum on negotiations in recent days or weeks, two people familiar with negotiations confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of negotiations.

The Cowboys have signed a slew of stars to deals in recent years as deadlines approached. Star receiver Dez Bryant signed a five-year, $70 million extension on July 15, 2015, with hours to spare before the negotiating window closed. Twice-tagged defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence received his five-year, $105 million deal last April under a threat that he would not have offseason shoulder surgery — and thus begin his recovery timeline before the season — until a deal was done. Most recently, the Cowboys ended running back Ezekiel Elliott’s 41-day training camp holdout last September, four days before their season opener.

The Cowboys and Prescott have a little less than two months to negotiate in this window before Prescott counts $31.4 million against the team’s 2020 salary cap. Tagging him in 2021 would cost $37.68 million.

If Cowboys tag Dak Prescott, what message would it send?

“Hopefully it sends the same message that this year sent,” Dak told @usatodaysports. “But obviously, I want to win.

“I’m somebody that I’ve gambled on myself my whole life.” pic.twitter.com/yU4MIxaX4L

— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) March 5, 2020

Prescott has said playing on a tag would only further solidify his “prove-it” goals.

“Hopefully it sends the same message that this year sent,” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports. “But obviously, I want to win. I’m somebody that I’ve gambled on myself my whole life. That’s kind of what it is. I’ve been doubted and told people they’re wrong.

“When you’re playing out a situation, when you’re playing out a contract, there’s no different mindset than that.”

Regardless of the financials, owner Jerry Jones insists the Cowboys — who signed nine-year Bengals starter Andy Dalton this month — are committed to Prescott as their starter in 2020 and beyond.

“When we’re ready to play,” Jones said, “he’ll be here.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.

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