To the dismay of many in Cowboys Nation, the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott saga continues. The two sides have been locked in negotiations for roughly two years now and most indications are they aren’t much closer today than they were the day they started.
The stakes keeps getting higher and cost of doing businesses gets costlier – All contributing to why progress can’t be made. Now we sit with rumors that Dak Prescott and Todd France are asking for north of $40 M per year and want to come in just below Patrick Mahomes in the pay scale hierarchy.
One outcome stands out as the worst possible outcome in this Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott relationship.
Whether you’re on the “Pay Dak!” side or the, “Let him go!” side, both share the same nightmare scenario: Dak Prescott playing on the Franchise tag in 2021.
It’s safe to say the Dallas Cowboys will once again be slapping Dak with the franchise tag if no long-term deal can be reached between now and the March 9th deadline. They aren’t going to let him test free agency so it makes it pointless speculating otherwise.
And chances are, a deal won’t be in place, so we will see the tag, which on it’s own is no big deal. Dallas will still be able to negotiate a multiyear deal, they’ll just have the tag in place so no one else can swoop in and steal him away.
The situation doesn’t reach the disaster threshold until July 15th. That’s the deadline for a long-term deal per the CBA, and if a deal isn’t agree upon, negations would be forcibly shut down until the end of the Dallas Cowboys 2021 campaign.
Without the threat of a third franchise tag looming, Dak has zero reason to even pick up the phone next winter. That means the last possible date the Cowboys can have meaningful conversations is this July.
Some may say, “No big deal. We dealt with it last year and we can deal with it again.” But that ignores the fact that the Dallas Cowboys will be unable to tag Dak Prescott again in 2022. The cost to tag him a third time explodes well over $50 million in 2022. It’s an impossible number for the Cowboys to digest no matter how creative Stephen Jones gets with the cap.
So without the threat of a third franchise tag looming, Dak has zero reason to even pick up the phone next winter. He will be eager to test the market as the first modern day franchise QB to hit the market in his prime. That means the last possible date the Cowboys and Dak can have meaningful conversations is this July.
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Now the Dak haters may be happy at such an outcome. They don’t see Dak as anything special and are perfectly fine letting him leave. To them I’d say you’re missing something. Something important. Something called compensation.
While all of Cowboys Nation may not appreciate Dak Prescott, other teams in the league sure do. They’d be willing to trade for him if given the opportunity. But if Dak plays the 2021 season on the tag, Dallas will have missed their opportunity to trade him. The only thing they’ll get in return is a compensatory pick in 2023 – and that’s not even a sure thing.
Everyone should be rooting for resolution – one way or the other. Because riding this out would be the ultimate nightmare scenario for the Dallas Cowboys and all their fans. Regardless of what you think of Dak.
Let’s avoid the nighmare, shall we?