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Dallas Cowboys reportedly taking an odd approach to Dak Prescott contract talks

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have made very little headlines this offseason due to their inactivity in free agency. However, there has been significant NFL news on contract talks with quarterback Dak Prescott and there’s now more information on negotiations between the two sides.

There has seemed to be a lot of back-and-forth between Dallas and its star quarterback since the team was eliminated from the playoffs. Team owner Jerry Jones pushed back on a possible extension but CEO Stephen Jones indicated that the club ‘absolutely‘ wants to extend Prescott’s contract.

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In March, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Prescott and the Cowboys have a “mutual understanding” of his situation and he was poised to become a free agent in 2025. Days later, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports refuted that with word the two sides wanted an extension. Now, things have taken another turn.

During an appearance on Saturday’s SportsCenter, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler explained that the Cowboys are taking a “passive” approach to contract talks with Prescott.

  • Dak Prescott stats 2023: 12-5 record, 105.9 QB rating, 69.5 percent completion rate, 36-9 TD-INT, 4,516 passing yards, 6.1 percent touchdown rate, 7.7 yards per attempt

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“I was told from a source with the team that the notion that the Cowboys don’t want to keep Dak Prescott beyond 2024, when he’ll be a free agent the next year, is false, that they still believe in him firmly. They want him long-term, but I would describe their pursuits at a contract extension so far as pretty passive. He’s got a $61 million cap hit this year, he’s got dead money next year, so he’s got a lot of leverage. So this will play out eventually, but they are committed to spending money, trying to re-sign some of their guys, Dak included.”

Jeremy Fowler on Dallas Cowboys contract negotiations with Dak Prescott

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Examining the Dak Prescott situation from the Cowboys’ perspective

On the one hand, the Cowboys’ slower approach to contract talks makes sense. With current estimates projecting an extension at $55 to $60 million annually in the next long-term deal, Dallas should feel a bit uncomfortable considering Prescott’s poor track record in the playoffs.

However, allowing this to drag out into 2025 could only make things worse. Prescott’s contract means he can’t receive the franchise tag and that clears a path for him to hit the open market if a deal isn’t signed. Furthermore, Dallas would be left with a $40.46 million dead cap charge in 2025 if he leaves. Plus, losing Prescott would put the Cowboys in serious jeopardy of falling into quarterback purgatory.

Considering Dallas intends to compete for a Super Bowl next year, it will likely not be in a position to draft a top quarterback in the 2025 NFL Draft. Even if the Cowboys trade up for a top pick next year to replace Prescott, NFL teams aren’t high on the 2025 quarterback class.

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