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ESPN’s bold prediction for the Dallas Cowboys offseason has them not getting a Dak Prescott deal done

Maybe the Cowboys won’t have Dak Prescott in 2021.

Cleveland Browns v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The first official week of the NFL offseason is just about in the books and it has been a rather long one for America’s Team. It all started in the immediate aftermath of Super Bowl LV, long before Tom Brady chucked the Vince Lombardi Trophy over a body of water (sort of).

As soon as the most important game of the season ended, the Dallas Cowboys released a hype video for the 2021 season that did not include Rayne Dakota Prescott. The mothership explained this omission as an oversight which makes total sense, but the national media took off like Dak often has himself. Conversations were had in front of many cameras and behind many microphones pontificating whether or not this was some sort of secret subliminal message sent indicating that Prescott would not be around this season.

Due to the Cowboys’ ability to place a franchise tag on Dak, it is extremely unlikely that any future of his where he is wearing a different uniform would begin in 2021. Speaking with regards to next season, though, that is certainly possible.

ESPN’s bold prediction for the Dallas Cowboys offseason has them not getting a Dak Prescott deal done

Speaking in a literal sense the Dallas Cowboys have not come to terms on a long-term commitment with their franchise quarterback. Obviously they have offered things and had return offers presented to them, but it appears to the outside world as if that commitment is not there. Emmitt Smith himself echoed this in our conversation with him last week.

The Cowboys are in a precarious position with Dak Prescott this offseason. Should they be unable to reach a long-term agreement with him by March 9th they will have to place the franchise tag on him for the second straight season. Doing so would guarantee Dak a minimum of a one-year, $37.7M salary that is 100% guaranteed for 2021, and it would lock him in for a franchise tag value of $54.4M in 2022.

Doing the math here, Dak would be looking at what would effectively be a two-year deal worth $92.1M, fully guaranteed. That’s about $46M for each of the two seasons (his annual average value) and again. a fully guaranteed value that is almost $100M for just two seasons.

All of this is why you have heard people say that if Dak Prescott plays on the tag this year that it will be his last season suiting up for the Cowboys. Simply put, the defined market rate for him set forth by the tag in 2022 would be insurmountable for any team to absorb, a phenomenon that led to Kirk Cousins’ departure from Washington three years ago.

ESPN recently had each of their team correspondents list out a bold prediction for the unit that they oversee. Todd Archer listed his bold prediction for the Dallas Cowboys and it has Dak Prescott playing the year out on the tag.

Dak Prescott will not sign a contract extension.

Despite both sides saying they want to get together with a multiyear commitment, the circumstances to get one done this offseason are much more difficult with a shrinking salary cap. How can they break the roadblock that has been there the past two offseasons? Without a long-term deal, Prescott will play the 2021 season on the franchise tag for the second straight year, earning $37.7 million and all but cementing a departure in 2022 with the franchise tag rising then to more than $52 million. — Todd Archer

Keep in mind that these are bold predictions so they are meant to hang a little bit of proverbial onion. Still, though, while all of this has technically been possible, the general thinking has always been that a deal will get done.

Todd Archer is one of the best reporters on the Dallas Cowboys beat so what he says should carry water for most fans. The idea of Dak playing the year out on the tag is certainly a possibility, and maybe not too far-fetched.