Projecting Dak Prescott's Next Contract With the Cowboys

What is a fair contract extension for the Dallas Cowboys' franchise quarterback?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of difficult decisions to make in the 2024 offseason. As the organization prepares for an all-in season where they desperately want to make a deep postseason run, perhaps the biggest question they have to answer is regarding Dak Prescott's future.

The star quarterback is entering the final year of his four-year, $160 million deal he signed back in 2021. Whether the Cowboys give him one of the most lucrative deals in the NFL to keep him as their QB going forward despite the playoff struggles will be a franchise-defining moment.

There are plenty of complications and factors going into this decision. Prescott currently has a $59.4 million salary cap hit in 2024. The Cowboys can carry that figure into the season but this would hinder their ability to add or retain players in free agency.

They already have to restructure Trevon Diggs' deal and give CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons extensions. It behooves the Cowboys to lower Prescott's cap hit by giving him a longer contract.

However, there is not much incentive for Prescott to give Dallas a discount. He should have plenty of suitors in free agency as he just had the best regular season of his career and was an MVP runner-up with league-leading touchdown passes and QBR.

Cowboys Offseason: What is a Fair Contract Extension for Dak Prescott?

The Cowboys also can't place the franchise tag on him in 2025, meaning that unless an extension is signed by March, Prescott will become a free agent next season and is at risk of leaving Dallas. Considering that they have no means of replacing him with a quarterback of same caliber, the Cowboys have no choice but to give him a long-term extension.

But what is a fair value contract for a quarterback who has historically been one of the most dominant regular season players but has never played a conference championship game in eight seasons as a starter?

The standard annual salary for elite quarterbacks has reached over $50 million per year. Joe Burrow is atop the market at $55 million. Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert both recently signed five-year deals worth $52 million per year.

It's hard to argue that Prescott has done less than Justin Herbert in his career. The floor for Prescott's next deal should likely be at that level.

Prescott's agents will likely push for $60 million per year, making him the highest-paid player in the league. After the Cowboys' playoff foibles, that seems unrealistic. But, a four-year extension around $220 million, which would put him on par with Burrow, makes some sense for both sides. Similar to Prescott's contract structure in 2021, this extension would likely have a lucrative signing bonus of upwards of $65 million as well.

Dak Prescott currently has the eighth-best odds (+1600) to win the AP NFL MVP for next season on FanDuel Sportsbook. Head over to FanDuel to claim your $200 in bonus bets when you make a winning wager of $5 on any event.

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