While it feels as if it happened many moons ago, the Dallas Cowboys handed out the biggest contract in franchise history this offseason. On their third try the team finally locked down quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term deal, and thankfully we haven’t had to discuss the story all too much over the last few months. Prescott is set to lead the team into the 2021 season where the expectations of the monster deal he earned are going to undoubtedly play a factor in how people feel about his performance week in and week out.
You would be hard-pressed to find something that generated more opinions than Prescott’s contract negotiations. There were generally two camps (Pay Him vs. Don’t Pay Him) but as noted they are both moot at this point.
Recently The Athletic compiled a survey with answers from random NFL agents and they were not short on thoughts here either. Generally speaking they were pleased to see this deal get done because of the market it helps reinforce for quarterbacks across the league.
1. What was the most interesting or surprising decision of the offseason?
The Cowboys’ signing quarterback Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million contract as he’s coming off a broken right ankle (four votes)
• “Dak stands out because of the legwork that it took to get there and the fact that the Cowboys were willing to give him that without a franchise or transition tag and basically let him hold them hostage four years from now. From a team standpoint, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
• “His extension getting done was the most significant contract by far. There was so much criticism over the last couple of years. ‘Why isn’t Dak getting this done? Why aren’t the Cowboys getting this deal done?’ So, to see it come together — and the average per year was really impressive as well as the guarantees especially coming off the ankle injury. They are showing the faith and trust they have in him as a player. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.”
• “Signing Dak to that money coming off that serious of an injury, and for that short of a duration, that was a surprise, but good for (agents representing other starting quarterbacks).”
The first bullet point is frustrating in that it notes the leverage that Prescott was able to obtain from the Cowboys, something that could have been avoided if they had held the foresight two years ago to offer something that would have felt bigger in the moment, but would have been a wise move for the long-term.
There is no doubt that Dak’s deal was the most significant one of the offseason as it was, at the time of signing, the latest big-time quarterback domino to fall. We have said all along that these deals are different and therefore abide by different rules. Quarterbacks generally get paid just a little bit more than the previous one, Josh Allen’s deal is one that already makes Dak’s look friendlier.
Any agent who represents a quarterback (namely a franchise one) is obviously going to love to see the market continue to rise. It is a never-ending phenomenon that is simply life in the NFL.
To have a top quarterback, you have to pay. It is a tale as old as time.