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Cowboys are likely to franchise tag Dak Prescott, but it’s all part of the song and dance

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Dak tag? It’s just business.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott is the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. That is a statement that fans have been able to say for the last four years, and it’s one we’re going to keep saying for years to come. The fact that the young quarterback’s rookie deal has now expired makes Mr. Prescott an unrestricted free agent next month. For a lot of players entering that type of status, that will mean a new team in 2020; however, such an ordeal is not the case for Dak. He’s not going anywhere.

With more steam picking up that the Cowboys are likely to use the franchise tag on him in the next few weeks, that makes some people a little uneasy. What are the Cowboys trying to do exactly? Hasn’t he done enough to show he’s worth a new deal?

There is not an ounce of doubt that the Cowboys are planning on giving Prescott a huge deal real soon. But just like some other deals before him, the team is going to wait it out until the final hour so they can work in the best possible contract that will help the team’s salary cap situation. This team is loaded with talented players; players who eat up a good chunk of that salary cap pie. Every little bit matters in the grand scheme of things and Stephen Jones knows it. A dollar saved is a dollar that can be used to retain another guy down the road.

The recent history of some Cowboys contracts serve as evidence to this. DeMarcus Lawrence was in a similar situation last year, only the franchise tag the Cowboys slapped on him was the second one in as many years. They offered the tag in March, but a month later Tank got his new deal. Ezekiel Elliott wanted a new deal as well and sat out of training camp, making some wonder if he could miss part of the regular season. He didn’t. On September 4th, four days before the team’s first game of the season, Zeke was signed. Even Zack Martin, who is about as safe of a proven commodity as you’ll find, didn’t get his second contract until June of the year he was originally slated to play under his fifth-year option. The bottom line is - the Cowboys front office waits this thing out.

And it will be no different with Prescott. The two sides are “far apart” on what they want, but as we’ve seen plenty of times before - things can move quickly. Tank’s people were far apart at one point. So were Zeke’s. And then, all of a sudden things started moving and they started moving fast.

The Cowboys will give Prescott the franchise tag towards the end of the month. He’ll have a few weeks to sign it; that would pay him a one-year salary of nearly $27 million according to figures from over the cap. Whether Dak signs it or not, who knows. This thing may even drag on to where Prescott misses some offseason football activities. The only thing we can hang our hat on is that sometime before the season begins, Dak Prescott will be playing under a new contract.

Dak has started all 64 games of his career. He’s thrown for nearly 16,000 yards and is three touchdowns shy of a 100. He’s got an NFL career passer rating of 97.0 which puts him in the top five all-time. He’s outperformed any of the quarterbacks from his draft class, including both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, the no. 1 and no. 2 overall players selected. Those guys have already gotten huge second deals.

Dak’s time is coming, but as Cowboys fans have come to learn - these things tend to drag out. Make no mistake about it, this organization is all-in on Dak, but they’re not willing to show their cards just yet.