The contract situation of Dak Prescott has dominated the headlines this offseason and should continue to do so until a long-term extension is reached. Currently, the Cowboys franchise quarterback is playing under the franchise tag, but many expect that to all change by the July 15 deadline where further negotiations would then cease until after the upcoming season. Neither side wants it to get to that point, so the saga continues.
With this thing dragging out for what it seems like forever, that leaves a lot of time for us to come up with different theories as to what’s causing the hold up. Some make sense, others not so much. Recently, Todd Archer from ESPN decided to take on those theories and see which one’s are actually feasible. Today, we take a look at each of those theories.
Theory 1 - The Cowboys don’t believe Dak is a top quarterback
The Cowboys do believe Prescott’s a top quarterback, or else they wouldn’t have made an offer to him that pays him more than both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, who just so happen to be the no. 1 and 2 overall picks in the same NFL draft as Prescott. The Cowboys have reportedly put a deal on the table that would make Dak the second-highest paid quarterback in the league. Archer says this theory is hogwash, and he is absolutely right. The Cowboys believe wholeheartedly in Dak Prescott.
Theory 2 - The Cowboys waited too long to try to sign Prescott
You have to give credit to both sides of the negotiation table as both the Cowboys front office and Team Dak is playing hardball. They are fighting for the best possible deal, and they are fighting hard. Despite a real commitment in working for the best deal, the front office gets a bad rep for not getting this deal done much sooner.
While it’s true the team is probably kicking themselves for not pulling the trigger sooner, it wasn’t for a complete lack of trying. Archer reminds us that negotiations for an extension wasn’t legally allowed to happen until after his third season in the league, and to the Cowboys credit - they’ve been trying to get something worked once that window opened up. It was believed a deal was real close to happening right before the start of last season, but they just couldn’t get it done.
Not inking Prescott sooner will ultimately cost the team more money in the long run as with each new day, his price tag goes up. But so does the cap, so the front office isn’t misplaying their hand quite as much as some make them out to be.
Theory 3 - The Cowboys want Prescott to settle for less
There is not much doubt that Stephen Jones would love for his quarterback to take a team-friendly deal to allow other players to have a bigger piece of the pie as well. It’s a team sport, and you need many quality players to be successful. And those quality players cost money. It’s that frugal mindset that’s responsible for this thing dragging out as much as it has. So, absolutely, the front office is definitely hoping Prescott would agree to a cheaper deal.
The problem is Dak’s agent Todd France will have no part of it. He knows what his client’s worth is and he’s not about to settle. However, because this is the Dallas Cowboys, there is another wrinkle in all this... which brings us to Archer’s final theory.
Theory 4 - Prescott should realize how much he makes off the field
Prescott is in a great situation. Not only does he play a marque position, but he plays on the most financially successful team in the NFL. Win, lose, or 25-year NFC Championship drought - the Cowboys make it rain!
Jon Machota was talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey and Meg this past week and they talked about a lot of interesting things, but one of them was Dak’s contract. One eye-opening piece of info from that conversation was how the Cowboys brought in the top total team revenue with $950 million last season, whereas the next highest team is the New England Patriots with $600 million, a team that has been highly decorated with success over that same 25-year period.
While Dak only has career football earnings of $5 million, he has already benefited immensely from being the quarterback of America’s Team. As Adam Schefter reported last year, Dak has multiyear endorsement deals valued over $50 million. Would he have those same opportunities if he was quarterbacking Jacksonville where his team doesn’t quite get the same televised attention as say... the Dallas Cowboys? I profess, he would not.
And France and Team Dak know this all too well. That is why that when all this is said and done, Prescott will likely agree to a deal that is slightly less than what he’d get if he was on the open market. The Jones’ know this as well, which is why they are continuing to fight for a lower price. It doesn’t change the fact that Prescott’s is just as important to the Cowboys as the Cowboys are to Prescott, so the game of chicken ensues.
Which theory are you buying into the most? Or do you have your own theory? Let us know in the comments.