Dak Prescott’s Career Earnings After Record $160M Contract with Cowboys - Scott Polacek, Bleacher Report
The structure of the deal.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cowboys reached an agreement with Prescott on a four-year, $160 million deal that features a record $126 million in guaranteed money. Schefter noted the deal features a $66 million signing bonus and $75 million in the first year, which is also a record, and could be worth up to $164 million.
“The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms on a new contract with quarterback Dak Prescott on Monday,” the Cowboys said in a statement, per NFL Network’s Jane Slater. “Further information and details will be released at a formal press announcement on Wednesday.”
Prior to this deal, Prescott played on a four-year contract worth $2.7 million from 2016-19 and a $31.4 million franchise tag in 2020, per Spotrac. Adding in his signing bonus and incentives, that means his career earnings through this deal will be $196.3 million.
Based on the Mississippi State product’s early production, it seemed like a matter of time before he landed such a notable contract.
The fourth-round pick was a Pro Bowler and Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season in 2016, a Pro Bowler again in 2018 and threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2019. Prescott had more than 3,300 passing yards in each of his first four seasons and led the Cowboys to the playoffs twice during that span.
Cowboys’ 2021 Salary Cap After Dak Prescott’s Record-Setting $160M Contract - Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report
There’s no such thing as salary cap hell.
Using a $185 million salary cap, Spotrac projected Dallas to have $25.9 million to spend before news of Prescott’s extension. ESPN’s Field Yates explained how the team might have a little bit left over:
The Cowboys will inevitably open up a little more flexibility with roster cuts.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence E. Hill Jr. reported in February the team isn’t considering releasing Jaylon Smith but could open up $7.2 million if he’s designated as a post-June 1 cut. Perhaps Tyron Smith ($5.2 million savings pre-June 1 and $10.5 million savings post-June 1) could be a candidate to go despite his seven Pro Bowl appearances and two All-Pro nods.
At the end of the day, Prescott’s contract—while helping—doesn’t change much.
Dallas painted itself into a corner by only giving him the franchise tag in 2020. There wasn’t really a scenario in which allowing Prescott to leave entirely made sense. Setting aside the necessary money to retain him for 2021, the Cowboys weren’t going to have much left over to pursue marquee outside additions.
By lowering Prescott’s cap hit by more than $12 million compared to the franchise tender, the front office at least guaranteed it doesn’t need to jettison as many players to make the money work for next year.
This probably doesn’t make the Cowboys heavy hitters in free agency, though.
The Cowboys need these guys to be healthy if they want to have any chance this season.
Needless to say, the Cowboys missed Tyron Smith and La’el Collins in a major way.
And all the efforts to replace them, whether it was with veteran Cam Erving, or moving Zack Martin to the outside for a few games, or playing the likes of Terence Steele and Brandon Knight, could make up for the loss of these two tackles.
So here we are, getting ready for the offseason to begin for the Cowboys.
While there has been an abundance of conversations regarding Dak Prescott and his contract situation, talks on the Collins and Smith seem to come in a close second.
Smith played in just two of the first four games last year before undergoing season-ending neck surgery. It was a procedure Smith likely could’ve had a season or two before. The Cowboys are hopeful this will greatly strengthen his mobility and agility, especially in the neck area.
Now, Smith has also had back and elbow issues in recent years and could find himself dealing with those lingering problems. But for the most part, the optimism seems high on Smith being able to return to his Pro Bowl form in 2021.
As for Collins, who missed all of last season due to hip surgery, the prognosis is similar to Smith. The veteran right tackle has been rehabbing the injury, even at times at The Star in Frisco. Collins could likely be ready for some of the offseason program, but like with all players returning from surgery, especially vets, he’ll slowly integrate back into drills.
We need to see what Prescott’s cap hit is but i’m all for getting one in free agency.
The former University of Florida star has become a versatile playmaker for the New York Jets, playing both safety positions and even playing in the slot. There is a chance the Jet’s could franchise tag Maye, as they will run a similar defense to Dallas next season. Maye will be 27-years old at the start of next season so like Williams he may demand bigger money from a team that can afford him, but his two interceptions and two sacks from last season would be a big help to the Cowboy’s defense.
Coming off a Achilles tear last season, the former No. 15 overall pick could be looking for a prove it deal this offseason. Still only 24-years old, Hooker was considered to be a single-high safety coming out of the draft. Before the aforementioned Achilles injury two games into last season, Hooker had seven interceptions over his three previous seasons. Dallas is no stranger to kicking the tires on former first-round picks, if healthy Hooker could be bargain in the same vein as Marc Colombo was for the Cowboys years ago.
2021 NFL free agency: Pending free agents, notable departures for all 32 teams - Around The NFL Staff, NFL.com
A lot of good names on this list for the Cowboys.
Below is a team-by-team breakdown of notable player departures during the 2021 NFL free agency period. This tracker will be updated as roster moves play out across the NFL. Jump to your favorite team by clicking on one of the eight divisions below.
NOTE: The information below is not intended to be complete — it’s a spotlight of the most prominent NFL players who have already been released or traded, or are set to become free agents when the new NFL league years opens on March 17.
QB Andy Dalton
TE Blake Bell
DE Aldon Smith
LB Sean Lee
S Xavier Woods
Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott Primed for a Bounce-Back Season in 2021 - John Williams, Inside The Star
The Cowboys running back is under scrutiny.
Elliott, just like running buddy Dak Prescott and the other quarterbacks, was impacted by the offensive line’s inconsistencies. No Tyron Smith or La’el Collins for nearly all of the season, and no continuity at center and left guard hurt Elliott’s ability to produce consistently last season.
He suffered career lows in rushing yards, touchdowns, yards per attempt, and runs of 15+ yards. His 22 runs of 10+ yards were the second-lowest of his career, as were the 2.82 yards after contact per attempt. Fumbles were a huge issue early in the season.
In the first six games of the year, Elliott had five fumbles. He returned to baseline the rest of the year, finishing with just one fumble in his final nine games of the year.
If there is an area to be encouraged by, Ezekiel Elliott’s elusive rating per Pro Football Focus was the second-highest of his career. This stat measures what the running back does with the football independent of the blocking in front of him. We know that the offensive line’s production was a fraction of what it’s been in the past and yet Elliott was still able to produce at times throughout the season.
Over the last couple of years, Elliott has attempted to change his body composition to become quicker, more agile, and more elusive. As the offensive line’s talent level has dropped off since his rookie season, Elliott has had to do more on his own. At times it hasn’t looked pretty, but there are times when the blocking hasn’t held up and Elliott’s able to manufacture a positive run.
The Cowboys need free agency and the draft to fix their secondary.
What cornerback should the Dallas Cowboys target in free agency?
One cornerback that the Cowboys should target is Xavier Rhodes. Although Rhodes likely isn’t the biggest name in the cornerback market, he can be a valuable asset to Dallas’ secondary.
The former three-time Pro Bowler is arguably coming off his best season since 2017. This past season for the Indianapolis Colts, Rhodes had 42 tackles, 12 passes deflected, and two interceptions. He also allowed a whopping 51.9 percent completion rate on passes thrown his way.
This was a huge increase from Rhodes’ 2019 season with the Minnesota Vikings. In that season, he allowed 66 completions on 81 passes thrown his way (81.5 percent). However, his improvement could be a good sign for teams needing cornerback help like the Cowboys.
Additionally, his estimated market value can be seen as a positive for the Dallas Cowboys. The former All-Pro cornerback is expected to receive a two-year contract worth about $14.74 million, according to spotrac.com. His $7.3 million annual salary could be seen as a match made in heaven for the Cowboys.
Rhodes, 30, would likely provide a veteran presence to a secondary that lacks experience too. Diggs (22) and Brown (27) could use a veteran in the locker room. Also, if the Cowboys decide to select a cornerback in this year’s draft, this could help the young rookie develop.
Although it is likely a longshot to sign free agent cornerbacks like Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Shaquill Griffin because of their asking price, Rhodes is likely the next best thing. It’s safe to assume that the former Florida State star still has some left in the tank and could be beneficial to the Dallas Cowboys roster in 2021.
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