Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott and the 10-Year Deal

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys now have a giant new contract to work around in their dealings with Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys can now use Patrick Mahomes’ new contract in their negotiation with Dak Prescott, and Prescott to the Cowboys. Up until now, I have tried to refrain from writing about the Dak Prescott contract negotiation. Mostly, because of the insanity of the vocal minority who think Dak shouldn’t be re-signed and the Cowboys should move on.

As anyone who’s survived the post-Aikman / pre-Romo years can attest, competing without a franchise QB is not a fun thing to go though as a fan. However, here we are staring down a week until the Cowboys potentially drop the ball. It’s do or die time and the Dallas Cowboys were just thrown a curveball by the new Mahomes deal

Instead of discussing whether Dak deserves a contract (he does). Let’s look at the potential impact of the ten year deal Mahomes just signed. On the face of it, it looks fairly team friendly, but allows for some guarantees for Mahomes. This plays well for the Cowboys in that Mahomes reset the market, but didn’t tear the house down doing it.

On the surface it would seem the story would stop here and everyone could move forward, until we look at the details of the contract itself. The contract is back-loaded like most contracts, except it has some guarantees that could leave a huge impact later on.

The year in advance guarantee, that is the money for the next season that is guaranteed each year, is huge, and should the Chiefs want to dump Mahomes (doubt it, but you never know), they have to do it within a specific time or pay large money for the next season. To sum it up, if they cut him during free agency in 2024, the money for 2024 is guaranteed, they would be saving money for 2025.

Add in the massive injury guarantee and the Chiefs could pay huge money if Mahomes gets injured and they decide to cut him due to the injury. That is where this could all hurt the team more than the contract on the surface appears. Mahomes is betting on himself and the Chiefs, the Chiefs are betting on his health and their ability to find talent. It works as long as there are no injuries, Mahomes doesn’t decline too fast, or something comes out of left-field.

However, back to Dak Prescott and the impact. Dak has been looking for a three (maximum four) year deal. Unlike Mahomes he is banking on the TV deal going up in the next few years. The Chiefs played the coronavirus game with Mahomes, Dak is not allowing the Cowboys to do the same. The ten year deal from Mahomes does allow the Cowboys to come back to Dak and request more years. Dak may or may not take it, but the conversation changed.

This plays well for the Cowboys in that Mahomes reset the market, but didn’t tear the house down doing it.

The right thing now would be to use Mahomes as the basis for a new deal. With Mahomes making so much at the end of the contract, and the way the QB market works, Dak and the Cowboys should work on a middle ground of around $37-$38mil a year with larger guarantees. I don’t think he will take more than four or five years, as long as the Cowboys load the guarantees up the right way.

With WIlson currently at about $35.7 and now Mahomes at about $40, the Cowboys need to come in between that mark, and $36 won’t cut it if we are being extremely honest. If the Cowboys load the contract right, they can back-load it for the new TV deal and reap the new revenue benefits to offset the cap hit of what could be around $50mil in the final season. But the key will be the guarantees.

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If the Cowboys can offer a full contract of injury guarantees, next year guarantees, and more than WIlson per year, as long as it falls within a length Dak and his camp are okay with settling on, the deal will get done in the next week. However, if the Cowboys decide to play hardball and look at the average of Mahomes over the first three years and use that as their basis, then Dak will play on the tag this season, and perhaps next.

Mahomes threw a small wrench into the negotiations. The length, guarantees, and on the surface average all work into the ongoing negotiations. The Cowboys need to find a way to make this work, they can not afford to go back into quarterback purgatory. Finding a top even ten quarterback is difficult, finding a top five is even harder.

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The Dallas Cowboys can look at Mahomes deal and use it correctly, or they can frame it poorly, and the Cowboys will fail.

  • Published on 07/08/2020 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 07/08/2020 at 13:09 PM