Fixing the Dallas Cowboys in Five Moves: February Edition

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Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Re-sign Dak Prescott

There are two frames of thought between the fanbase and at this point and I don’t think you can convince either side to embrace the opposite stance. I won’t tell you how to feel about the former fourth-round pick, largely because I imagine most of you agree with my stance, but more so because while he’s objectively good, there’s a bigger disagreement on his value to the team.

He has the same pedigree as Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson and, as of the last two seasons, have produced relatively similar. If we’re basing his contract on that understanding, then $40 million in average annual salary is the floor. With the new TV deal, imminent signing anything longer than four years seems unlikely. This isn’t me coming up with numbers or time span, this is me just recognizing the market and future opportunity cost.

The Cowboys front office, by negotiating with Prescott’s team, weren’t been able to get their price. But interestingly enough, both parties have been able to jointly draw a fairly clear line detailing how much he’s worth. Perhaps that was the Joneses plan all along? (Maximizing a player’s worth to a team because your GM was being stubborn is a nice way to go about things in the end)

For the sake of this writing exercise, Dak Prescott’s contract will be 4 years/ $170 million. That is $42.5 million per year of average annual salary fully guaranteed. It’s hard to tell exactly how much money he’d earn every year but with the team having roughly $28 million in cap space, contracts will be restructured, players will be released, and a good portion of the money will be put into the signing bonus.

Precedent would suggest the signing bonus is around $25-30 million with the contract being heavily backloaded and if the Cowboys release punter Chris Jones, safety Darian Thompson, and fullback Jamize Olawale with a post-June 1st designation, they save over $4 million. The team can restructure Elliott’s contract freeing up money now while dealing with a lot more of the dead cap money several years down the road.

In the grand scheme, the release and restructuring of these players’ contracts don’t have as much of an effect on Prescott’s contract as they might have on future free-agent contracts; this is great for my next step.

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