Troubling Dallas Cowboys news on Dak Prescott contract negotiations before 2024 season

Dallas Cowboys news, Dak Prescott contract
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones entered the NFL offseason knowing the team needed to improve the roster ahead of the 2024 season for the team to compete for a Super Bowl. Not only is the Cowboys’ roster a bigger question mark than it was last season, but it appears increasingly plausible that this could be Prescott’s last season in Dallas.

The Cowboys roster already has several potential holes heading into the summer. There are questions about the offensive line, the depth at wide receiver behind CeeDee Lamb and the running back committee of Ezekiel Elliott and Rico Dowdle for the 2024 season.

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However, the biggest source of scrutiny as of late has been the team’s handling of contract talks with Lamb and Prescott. NFL revenue has exploded in recent years, resulting in the salaries for the highest-paid NFL players skyrocketing. As Dallas seemingly puts off negotiations with its stars, other teams are signing deals that just drive the price up further.

In recent NFL news, Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers A.J. Brown ($32 million average annual value) and DeVonta Smith ($25 million AAV) along with Detroit Lions wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown ($30 million AAV) and Miami Dolphins pass-catcher Jaylen Waddle ($28.3 million AAV) have signed lucrative extensions.

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At quarterback, the Lions signed Jared Goff to a contract extension worth $53 million per season. Meanwhile, quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are expected to sign deals either matching or eclipsing that mark. As those deals get hammered out, Dallas is taking a vastly different approach.

Will the Cowboys re-sign Dak Prescott?

Dallas Cowboys news, Dak Prescott
Credit: Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

Dallas doesn’t necessarily have to rush into signing Prescott or Lamb to extensions. Prescott and Lamb are both under contract for the 2024 season with NFL rules meaning there is no real chance of a prolonged holdout and the team is in no danger of either player sitting out regular-season games.

Related: Dallas Cowboys WR warns team ahead of Dak Prescott contract negotiations

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys haven’t had “meaningful talks” with Prescott’s camp both as of late and even this offseason.

  • 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

The issue for Dallas is that it loses even more leverage the longer this drags out. Prescott has a no-trade clause and can’t be franchise-tagged in 2025, meaning he would have complete control over the process in the 2025 offseason. By that time, Lawrence and Tagovailoa will likely have signed extensions worth at least $54 million annually.

Related: NFL analyst expresses multiple concerns with Dallas Cowboys offense

Jones and the Cowboys’ front office are putting itself into a situation where it will likely have to franchise tag Lamb in 2025, causing a summer holdout, and negotiating with Prescott when he can test the open market. If that happens, the end result could be Dallas losing a bidding war to another NFL team and entering quarterback purgatory or having their hand forced into making Prescott the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history.

If Prescott ultimately walks next offseason, the Cowboys would enter 2025 with two disgruntled stars seeking historic contracts (Lamb and Micah Parsons), potentially a new head coach and a $40.468 million dead-cap charge left by Prescott’s deal all without a viable starting quarterback.

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