Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have placed the exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, securing his return to the Cowboys for the 2020 season.

The exclusive franchise tag, which pays Prescott approximately $31.6 million next season, keeps him under contract and allows the Cowboys to negotiate with their franchise quarterback exclusively.

Prescott is coming off the best season in his career with 4,902 passing yards, 33 total touchdowns and a 99.7 quarterback rating. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and is expected to take a step forward next year under head coach Mike McCarthy.

Discussions on a long-term contract between the Cowboys and Prescott were hampered with previous uncertainty around the collective-bargaining agreement. Now with a new CBA approved and Prescott under contract, Dallas can focus its efforts on negotiating a multi-year deal.

Dallas recently offered Prescott a multi-year deal worth around $34 million annually. However, Ryan Tannehill’s new contract with the Tennessee Titans will likely push Prescott’s asking price even higher and the 26-year-old reportedly wants a shorter deal than the Cowboys are currently offering.

Now with a new CBA in place, eliminating the opportunity for the Cowboys to use both the franchise and transition tags, star receiver Amari Cooper is likelier to hit free agency. While the Cowboys will face plenty of competition, though, Cooper’s desire to remain in Dallas should help a deal get done.

Whether the Cowboys re-sign Cooper or not, the latest mock draft would add another dynamic weapon to help Prescott become an even better quarterback next season.