The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms on a long-term contract with quarterback Dak Prescott on Monday. It took over two years, but it finally happened. While that news is a positive step, it isn’t technically official. Agreeing to terms isn’t the same thing as signing and until Prescott puts pen to paper, he is still technically set to hit free agency next week.
The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Dak Prescott purely as a procedural move. This protects the Cowboys from anything going wrong and Prescott hitting free agency, and it was something that Prescott’s side also wanted.
The #Cowboys officially placed a second franchise tag on QB Dak Prescott on Monday, per source -- a procedural move pending his new deal.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2021
It makes it highly unlikely Prescott will be tagged again in his career, because that’d count as the (much more expensive) third tag.
Prescott’s new contract runs through 2024. Dallas wouldn’t have been able to tag him for 2025 regardless, because the deal includes two voidable years and the void occurs after the franchise designation window closes. But this virtually rules out a tag after some future deal.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2021
Prescott obviously didn’t want to be tagged again, so having the Cowboys use the second tag now makes it unlikely he will face a third tag in his career. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are protected for free agency.
It is nice that the Cowboys did not have to actually go through the franchise tag process for real with Prescott for the second year in a row. Everything is taken care of and they can now start planning the rest of their moves this offseason.