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Cowboys News: Fallout from Dak Prescott signing franchise tag

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All the Tuesday news you might have missed

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

Dak Prescott Just Called Jerry Jones’ Bluff, Because He Holds All the Cards - Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report

Dak Prescott is still looking for a long-term contract extension, but he did sign his franchise tag tender on Monday, ending the empty threat of a holdout. While some believe this gave the Cowboys leverage, it’s clear that Prescott is still in a position of power in the negotiations.

To understand why Prescott’s tender is worth much more than its face value, let’s fast-forward to the end of the 2020 season. Happy New Year, it’s now 2021! Everything is just fine, both in the NFL and the real world! And the Cowboys just finished the season somewhere between 5-11 and 11-5, with Prescott performing somewhere between last year’s high (4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns) and his 2017 low (3,324, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions). Once everyone sits down at the bargaining table again, the Cowboys will have three choices:

Tag Prescott again. Per franchise tag rules, the Cowboys would have to guarantee Prescott $37.7 million (120 percent of his current salary) in 2021 if they go this route.

Sign Prescott to a long-term deal. The going rate right now, based on the deal Carson Wentz and the Eagles signed last year, is four years at $128 million, with $66.5 million fully guaranteed at signing. That figure could go down slightly if Prescott performs badly or gets injured in 2020*, but it’s much more likely to shoot upward over the next 12 months because of Patrick Mahomes and/or Deshaun Watson extensions.

Let Prescott walk after the season and move forward with a rookie, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick or a called-back-from-the-booth Tony Romo in 2021.

The third option makes for some fun talk-radio conversations, but we can safely assume it doesn’t appeal to Jones. The second option will cost the Cowboys nearly $100 million in guaranteed money ($31.4 million for this year, $66.5-plus for future years), with the Cowboys essentially betting against themselves if they hope to get some sort of discount due to a Prescott injury or slump. That doesn’t mean that the second option is a bad idea for the Cowboys, mind you. It just makes it so expensive that Jones could choose a second franchise tag.

Choppy: Cowboys, Dak Won’t Reach Long-Term Deal Before Deadline - Zach Gelb, CBS Sports Radio

Dak Prescott signed his franchise tag tender on Monday, which means the quarterback will be present for training camp and preseason games, but the two sides still have until July 15 to agree to a long term deal.

“We knew he was going to sign the tender eventually,” Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan host R.J. Choppy said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Whether or not he was going to sign a long-term deal was the other question. They still have another [couple of weeks] to do that. We all expect them, at least locally, not to come to an agreement on a long-term deal.”

Both sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. The issue is not money, but rather, length of contract. The Cowboys reportedly want to sign Prescott to a five-year deal, while the quarterback wants to sign a four-year deal and become a free agent at 30.

“The Cowboys should [sign him], but if you go look at the roster and you look at the history of the NFL, five-year contract trends have dwindled,” Choppy said. “The league is trending away from the five-year deal. If you go look at the Cowboys’ roster, their guys they signed are all on five-, six-, seven-year contracts. They have like six or seven guys right now on five-plus-year contracts. They want five-year deals. They’re very good with the cap. I’ll give them that. The Cowboys are very good when it comes to managing their cap. Part of that is they have five years with these guys to be able to manipulate the numbers back and forth. That’s why the Cowboys are dead-set, I believe, on wanting five years. It gives them a little bit of flexibility and leeway to be able to manipulate the cap so they don’t come into cap problems.”

Dak Prescott is a history-making touchdown machine - @ESPNStatsInfo

While the Cowboys continue to negotiate with Dak Prescott, debate swirls about how much the quarterback is worth. The newest entry in support of Prescott’s case reveals just how insane Prescott has been at scoring points for the Cowboys.

The Simms top 40 countdown, No. 8: Dak Prescott - Mike Florio, NBC Sports

NBC Sports’ Chris Simms’ annual top 40 quarterback ranking has been gradually coming out the past few weeks, and on Tuesday Simms revealed Dak Prescott at eighth in his ranking, an increase from last season.

The Cowboys have a top 10 quarterback, and their failure to pay him accordingly could result in the team paying top dollar by July 15. Dak Prescott comes in at No. 8 on the Chris Simms top 40 quarterback countdown for 2020.

Prescott moved up from No. 13 after his third season. Although he lacks many of the “wow” moments of a Patrick Mahomes (then again, pretty every quarterback not named Patrick Mahomes does), Prescott gets it done.

Critics would say he doesn’t, because No. 8 only won eight games last year. But there were reasons for that unrelated to Prescott, including a defense that wasn’t nearly as good as it needed to be.

Eagles, Cowboys among top trade fits for N.Y. Jets’ Jamal Adams - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

Gil Brandt is one of the most highly regarded talent evaluators in NFL history, so when he writes about the top trade fits for Jamal Adams, we listen. It’s just a coincidence that he lists the Cowboys and division rival Eagles as the top two fits.

Trading for Adams would go against 18 years of the Cowboys more or less deprioritizing the safety position — Jerry Jones hasn’t selected a safety in the first two rounds of the draft since making Roy Williams the No. 8 overall pick in 2002, nor has he paid record-setting money for any player at the position. Simply put, the Cowboys appear to believe other roster spots are more worthy of investment.

However, if that approach changes and the team sees fit to grant Adams his apparent wish to come to Dallas, Adams would answer the prayers of a fan base frustrated by the lack of difference-making play at this spot on the field. That said, it is legitimate to question the ultimate impact of even the best safety relative to, say, quarterbacks, receivers, running backs or pass rushers. As for Adams, I’m sure he would love to head to a Super Bowl contender that also just happens to play in his hometown.

SEE IT: Former Redskin Ha Ha Clinton-Dix hilariously escapes two bears in his driveway - Quinton Mayo, Yahoo Sports

Newly signed Cowboys safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had an equal parts scary and comical encounter with some real live bears on Tuesday. The fact that he just left the Chicago Bears is merely a coincidence (we hope).

When the former Washington Redskins Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Chicago Bears last offseason, chances are he wasn’t aware he signed with ALL of them.

Tuesday afternoon, Clinton-Dix posted security camera footage from his house on Instagram which captured the moment he encountered a bear and her cub in his driveway!

Cowboys have two of the league’s top ten offensive tackles - @CBSSportsHQ

The Cowboys may not have the greatest offensive line in football any longer, especially after the retirement of Travis Frederick, but they’re not lacking talent either. According to CBS Sports’ Tyler Sully, they have two of the league’s top ten offensive tackles.

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