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Cowboys news: The franchise tag appears to be coming for quarterback Dak Prescott

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What that means and more...

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sources: Cowboys likely to use franchise tag on Dak Prescott as contract talks remain at impasse - Adam Schefter, ESPN

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday morning that it looks like the Cowboys and Dak Prescott are heading towards the franchise tag. Schefter says the talks remain at “impasse”.

With no long-term contract in sight, the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott are heading straight toward a situation in which the team will have to use its franchise tag on the star quarterback, league sources told ESPN.

At this point, the franchise tag looks inevitable, according to sources, although neither side wants the tag to come into play. Dallas strongly prefers a long-term agreement, and it will continue to push to sign Prescott to an extension in the coming weeks. Prescott, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month, also wants a long-term deal.

But the sides disagree over the two-time Pro Bowler’s value, leaving them at an impasse.

The quarterback, though, believes that he will receive a new deal this offseason.

Prescott, in a recent interview with ESPN’s Sage Steele, said he is confident that the sides will agree to a deal this offseason.

”There’s a lot of things that have to come into play when you’re talking about a contract,” Prescott told Steele. “Never just look at the money, never just look at what people see or the attention-grabber. There’s a lot of details to it. There’s people that know that handle that, so I’m leaving that up to my agent and I have all the confidence in both sides.”

Report: Cowboys Likely to Use Franchise Tag on QB Dak Prescott - Jenna West, Sports Illustrated

Earlier this week, Prescott said he was unsure if he would participate in voluntary workouts without a new deal in place.

While attending Super Bowl media events in Miami this week, Prescott wouldn’t say if he’d participate in Dallas’s voluntary offseason program if the tag is applied.

”We’ll get to that when we get to that,” Prescott said, per The Dallas Morning News. “I look forward to talking to my agents and when that [tag] comes to play, the direction that we’ll go. Until that’s a reality, I won’t worry about it.

”But I do feel like some of this should get done. I’m a little disappointed that it hasn’t, but that’s part of it.”

Dak Prescott: Despite Belief, Deal Wasn’t Close In 2019 - Kevin Brady, Inside The Star

According to the Cowboys’ quarterback, the two sides were not close to reaching a deal this past calendar year.

Most expected for Prescott and the Cowboys to close the deal prior to the 2019 season. Instead, Prescott played out the final year of his contract and had a career year, betting on himself and cementing his value as deserving of QB1 money.

At the Super Bowl this week, Dak joined the Dan Patrick Show and was asked about the status with the team, echoing the statements we’ve heard from much of Cowboys Nation the last couple of months.

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Stephen Jones has said that the deal is imminent, and all that’s left is to “land the plane” to close the deal. Based on how Prescott spoke here, though, it certainly sounds that he is viewing the current offers very differently than Jones.

New York Jets: Dak Prescott franchise tag could be good news for Gang Green - Justin Fried, The Jet Express

How does Dak Prescott heading towards the franchise tag impact the New York Jets?

If that’s the case, Dallas will have some very difficult decisions to make.

With big money already tied up in players like DeMarcus Lawrence, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys will find themselves in quite the cap bind if Prescott is given the franchise designation.

And the Jets could be the ones to capitalize.

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The Cowboys still have some time to decide on Prescott’s future, but the Jets would be wise to keep a close eye on Dallas’ decision.

It might just land them a premier free agent come March.

Hall of Fame WR Tim Brown on what will hurt Cowboys’ Amari Cooper in contract talks - SportsDay

Dak Prescott is not the only prominent Cowboys free agency that the franchise must make a decision on this offseason. Amari Cooper is looking for a new deal, but Tim Brown discussed something that could go against Coop’s leverage.

McClearin: We’ve seen Amari Cooper have big games and then go quiet on the road. What do you attribute that to?

Brown: “That was his thing in Oakland. It’s the same thing. I don’t know him, but I spoke to him once or twice when he was with the Raiders. He’s a very quiet guy as everybody knows. I just think this game is a very difficult game, more mentally than physically. To be able to mentally be in every game and every practice can be very difficult. It’s hard sometimes for him on game day to really drive, drive, drive, which you probably should do.

“If you’re not in it mentally, get off the field. He will get off the field. I think that’s going to be a knock on him when it’s fourth down or it’s third and whatever and your season’s on the line you’ve got to be able to find a way to be on the football field. Even if you don’t do something you’ve got to be out there. Those kinds of things are going to hurt him, especially when you’re talking about big time contracts and stuff. People are going to want to do a one-year deal with you and see what’s going on.”

Can Mike McCarthy copy Andy Reid and be ‘super’ good in new start with Dallas Cowboys - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram

How does McCarthy coming to Dallas compare to Reid arriving in Kansas City? Hill dives into it.

Reid came to Kansas City after 14 largely successful seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He had 130-93-1 record there with six division titles, a 10-9 record in nine trips to the playoffs, five trips to the NFC title game and one Super Bowl appearance, but no ring.

He was fired by the Eagles after going 12-20 his final two seasons.

At least, McCarthy won a ring in his previous stop, leading the Green Bay Packers to his one Super Bowl appearance in 2011.

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Reid was let go because his offense had allegedly grown stale and he went to Kansas City the very next season looking for a fresh start and opportunity to prove his detractors wrong.

McCarthy’s offense, considered to have become stagnant, and a falling out with quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the basis for his departure in Green Bay.

But look at Reid now.

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So naturally I asked Reid about McCarthy and his similarly fresh start with the Cowboys.

“Mike’s had a lot of success in this league,” Reid said. “Sometimes it’s good for both places. Good for Green Bay and good for Mike. And that was my case. I think it was great for Philadelphia to have a change, and it was good for me to have a change. And it worked out good for both places. ... I think he’ll do a hell of a job in Dallas.”

3 Super Bowl LIV Players Cowboys Should Target in FA - Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside The Star

Who could the Cowboys target from last night’s Super Bowl? Here are three to potentially keep tabs on.

DE Emmanuel Ogbah, KC Chiefs

Robert Quinn is set to hit free agency in March after a surprisingly productive season with the Cowboys. It might be difficult to keep him around for 2020 after he led the team in sacks and the NFL in pass rush win rate. With Randy Gregory‘s status remaining a mystery, Ogbah could be a quality free agency addition.

He shouldn’t be expensive, but he was a decent starter during his time with the Cleveland Browns. Maybe he isn’t good enough to start with the Cowboys in 2020, but at least he should be a good rotational piece. It wouldn’t be the first time Ogbah’s name is linked with Dallas.

Dallas Cowboys free agency primer: Inside the trenches - Tyrone Starr, The Landry Hat

Who else could the Cowboys target inside the trenches this offseason?

Of the remaining free agents that were on the team last year, edge rusher Robert Quinn is the main priority. Spotrac estimates Quinn’s fair market value at almost $12 million per year. That number would represent an upgrade in pay from last season. Given that he posted 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2019, that number is hard to argue.

Can the Dallas Cowboys afford such a high price tag? That could be tough with Dak and Amari commanding most of that aforementioned cap space. Dallas could opt to get younger and cheaper by focusing on targets such as edge rushers Shaq Lawson (seven sacks in 2019, estimated fair market value of $7.8 million) or Emmanuel Ogbah (six sacks in 2019) who made just $1.65 million last season.

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To once again look at (slightly) cheaper, still intriguing replacement ideas, the Cowboys may start with either 6-4, 330-lb A’Shawn Robinson, 6-2, 345-lb Danny Shelton or both. Nolan’s scheme generally calls for bigger men manning the tackle spots. Both Robinson and Shelton outweigh Collins by 25+ pounds. It is entirely possible that Dallas could get both for the same money Collins will make next year. That would be a major win in free agency.

Non-Playoff Teams That Could Make Super Bowl Run Next Season - Jonah Tuls, The Draft Network

We know the Cowboys have talent — and a lot of it. Can the hiring of Mike McCarthy lead to a special season for Dallas?

DALLAS COWBOYS (2019 RECORD: 8-8)

The clear favorite among the non-playoff teams this season to make a legitimate Super Bowl run in next year is the Dallas Cowboys. This roster wildly underperformed in 2019 and lost most of their games by an incredibly close margin. In fact, the Cowboys had the highest point differential (plus-82) and yardage differential (plus-1,426) of any non-playoff team in the Super Bowl era.

There was no reason for a roster this talented to finish .500, but that’s why Jerry Jones decided to hire a new head coach in Mike McCarthy. The interesting thing to watch this offseason will be the Cowboys’ decision to keep either Amari Cooper or Byron Jones — or possibly even both. This is arguably the biggest free agency cycle for Dallas in the last decade with all of the team’s top expiring contracts. If the Cowboys can maintain a healthy roster next season, they are built to make noise in the postseason.

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