As deadlines close in, the Cowboys are supposedly shopping a new contract to Dak Prescott.
Sources have said the Cowboys had an offer worth $33 million per season and more than $100 million guaranteed on the table. The complete structure of the contract was not known, but it was not enough to get Prescott to sign, although the Cowboys thought they were close on an extension early last season.
Seattle’s Russell Wilson earns the highest average per year among quarterbacks at $35 million, followed by Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger at $34 million. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams are next at $33.5 million.
Logically, the Cowboys’ new proposal would likely at least be in the neighborhood of the Rodgers and Goff deals in average per year, if not more.
But PFT has sources who dispute the notion a new offer went out.
Multiple reports emerged on Monday that the Cowboys have submitted another offer to quarterback Dak Prescott, in addition to the recently reported offer that has an average value of $33 million per year. Multiple sources tell PFT that there has been only one offer.
The offer, per one source, was made on March 2. The Cowboys have not recently made any other offer. It’s unclear whether Prescott’s camp has responded to the offer.
Could there be any other endgame that doesn’t include the Cowboys signing Prescott?
The clock is ticking for the Cowboys. If a deal with Prescott can’t be reached by Thursday, the Cowboys reportedly will apply the franchise tag. And it reportedly will be the exclusive version.
That’s what drives Prescott’s leverage. If he’s going to make $31.6 million in 2020 under the exclusive version of the tag and, by rule, $37.9 million in 2021, why not go year to year and make more than $69 million over the next two seasons, especially since the Cowboys likely wouldn’t apply the franchise tag in 2022, when his one-year tender would spike to $54.6 million?
It’s hard not to wonder whether the Cowboys eventually will reach the end of their rope with Dak, especially with other options on the free-agency market and with more and more college quarterbacks thriving at the next level. Could they tag and trade Dak? Could they decide simply not to tag him at all? Could they pivot to the transition tag, which would give him a chance to test the market and provide the Cowboys a chance to match?
With much of the defensive line free agents, Dorance Armstrong may get his chance.
What’s Been Good:
Armstrong has shown flashes as an edge rusher with an explosive first step and the ability to play left or right defensive end. Despite limited playing time, he registered 2.0 sacks last season, the most among the Cowboys’ backup ends. His sack/strip fumble on Daniel Jones sealed a critical division road win over the Giants in November. One of the younger players on the roster, Armstrong was only 20 when the Cowboys drafted him in the fourth round in 2018. There’s still room to grow.
Armstrong still has two years left on his rookie deal, but the Cowboys have question marks on elsewhere on their defensive front. Quinn and Hyder are set to be unrestricted free agents, and tackle/end Tyrone Crawford is coming off hip surgery. It’s possible all three return next season, but regardless, Armstrong will have a chance to make an impression on a mostly new defensive coaching staff.
A debate about Jaylon Smith’s skills and whether they are being used in the right way.
In consecutive weeks we saw teams try to isolate Jaylon Smith in pass coverage inside the red zone and near the goal line. Is he a liability or can he develop his coverage skills?– JOEY SAYSON / SANTA MONICA, CA
Jonny: You can make the argument that Jaylon is the most athletic player on the roster, and he’s playing on a contract that suggests that there should be no limitations in his game. When the coaching staff talked to the media last month, linebackers coach Scott McCurley told me that Jaylon and Leighton Vander Esch are elite talents, but he still plans on working on fundamentals with them every day.
Nick: Let’s be honest, all linebackers are going to be liabilities in coverage in the wrong matchups. Linebackers aren’t designed to cover most of the skill players, especially this new-age of tight ends where most of them are oversized receivers. Smith found himself in the wrong matchup a few times and it will be the coaching staff that has to make sure to get him in the right position. He’s more of a pass-rusher than he is a cover-guy. But to answer the second part, yes I think he can develop more in coverage with his technique. But I would think the coaches figure out better ways to utilize his skills.
Stay or Go: Which Cowboys unrestricted free agents should be re-signed before free agency? - John Owning, DMN
John Owning votes on free agents to go or stay, including a couple of defensive linemen.
Owning’s vote: STAY
If the Cowboys are going to let Jones walk in free agency then they have to find a way to retain Robert Quinn. Losing two of their most productive and impactful defenders from a year ago would be tough for the defense to overcome. Quinn’s speed rush ability is an awesome complement to DeMarcus Lawrence on the opposite side, and his experience is valuable in the locker room.
Owning’s vote: GO
While the Cowboys would probably like to re-sign Maliek Collins, his pass-rush ability could lead to a bigger contract from another team. He finished 11th among all interior defenders in pressures (48), and a team looking for more interior pressure could pay him more than the Cowboys are willing. Pass rush pays in the NFL. Plus, the Cowboys appear to be looking for more size inside.
The CBA voting deadline has been moved back two days, and there is peculation the franchise tag deadline will, too.
Players who want to vote on the proposed CBA will have two more days to do it.
The NFL Players Association has announced that its board of player representatives has voted to extend the deadline for voting on the proposed CBA by two days, from 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 12 to 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 14.
It’s unclear why the two-day change was made. Any player who wants to vote can vote at any time, quickly and easily. The vote by the 32 representatives was not publicized; the numbers would potentially reveal whether the change was favored by those who favor the CBA, and whether it was opposed by those who oppose it.
The most overpaid Cowboy? Here’s a candidate.
Current Deal: Five years, $45 million ($24.7 million guaranteed)
The Dallas Cowboys have been the league’s biggest rainmakers this past year by signing Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, La’el Collins and Ezekiel Elliott to massive deals. The team is now working on extensions for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.
All this new money could push some of the old money out the door.
Tyrone Crawford signed a five-year, $45 million contract extension during the 2015 campaign. He’s now in the final year of said deal after missing 12 games last season and requiring two surgeries on his hips to repair labral tears, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Considering the Cowboys’ continued contractual negotiations with others and Crawford’s $9.1 million salary-cap hit this year, the defensive lineman is an ideal candidate to restructure his deal or be released.
This week is huge for the Cowboys. We explain how so on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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