UPDATE: Stephen Jones said today that the Cowboys are unaware of any plans Prescott has at this time concerning the virtual offseason activities.
Amid yet another wave of reports/predictions that Dak Prescott will withhold his services from offseason workouts until a long-term contract agreement is reached, the Dallas Cowboys themselves say they are unaware of any such commitment.
”For every player, it’s voluntary,’’ Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday of the early stage of offseason workouts. “I’m not aware and haven’t been made aware of to what degree Dak’s participation level would be.”
With Prescott having completed his rookie deal and with the Cowboys facing the question of whether to sign him to a new contract or to apply the franchise tag, Prescott declined to commit that he’ll show up for offseason workouts if the team chooses to tag him.
“We’ll get to that when we get to that,” Prescott said during an appearance in Miami, via 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 it’s clear that he’s planning to stay away if the team applies the tag. Asked whether he plans to spend much time in Dallas in the coming weeks and months, Prescott said no.
“Report that,” Prescott added. “Be sure to report that.”
Back then Prescott was willing to go out and let people know about his intentions, but over the last few weeks after reports came out that the two sides renewed their contract talks he’s been pretty quiet.
With the NFL and NFLPA agreeing to terms on virtual offseason programs starting on April 20th, Mike Florio is now reporting that Prescott will not participate in the virtual programs. This comes from a source with knowledge of the situation between the Cowboys and Prescott.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Prescott will not take part in the stay-at-home preparations for the 2020 season, unless and until he has a long-term deal.
Prescott has every right to take that position, for two reasons. First, he’s not currently employed by the Cowboys. They’ve exercised their prerogative to keep him off the market via the franchise tag, and he has exercised his prerogative to not accept it. Second, the program is voluntary; even if he was under contract, he wouldn’t have to participate.
It’s unknown whether the Cowboys and Prescott currently are negotiating, with the goal of getting something done so that he can and will take part in the virtual offseason program. The ultimate deadline arrives on July 15, the last day for signing a franchise-tagged player to a multi-year deal. Before then, however, preparations for the first year of Mike McCarthy as head coach of the Cowboys will be limited by Prescott’s refusal to be part of it, unless the Cowboys finally give Prescott the contract he has earned.
Prescott does have every right to hold off on attending the virtual programs, and with a new coaching staff coming in, Prescott has a lot of leverage while to two sides continue their negotiations. As noted above, since Prescott has not signed his franchise tag he’s technically still not under contract. The fact that he is reportedly going to hold out of virtual activities, which have zero risk of injury, is further making his point he wants a long-term deal.
It should also be noted that participation in theses virtual programs is purely voluntary.