The Cowboys appear determined not to let Dak Prescott hit the open market. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the team is "likely to use" an exclusive franchise tag on Prescott if the two sides are unable to reach a long-term deal.
The tag would be for $33 million, a higher total than a standard franchise tag, and it would prevent other teams from negotiating with the former Mississippi State quarterback.
Throughout the offseason, the Cowboys have made it clear that Prescott is in their plans for the future. New head coach Mike McCarthy didn't hesitate when asked earlier this week if Prescott was the team's franchise quarterback.
"Definitely,'' McCarthy said. "It's exactly where we want to be with Dak. I think what he's done to this point speaks for itself. Dak is in a business situation right now. I've gone through this as a head coach with a number of my players in the past and, like anything, I think it's just time to be patient and let the business people work out the business matter."
In mid-February, Prescott told Yahoo Sports that he had confidence in the parties involved in the negotiation that "something will get done."
Earlier in the month, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones echoed a similar sentiment.
“We want to get this done,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Things are fixing to heat up. We want to put every foot forward and try to grind this out and get a deal done.”
If Prescott does ink a long-term extension, he will almost certainly be the highest-paid player in Cowboys history.
Prescott threw for the second-most passing yards in the NFL last season (4,902) and the fourth-most touchdowns (30). He also added nearly 300 yards on the ground and three rushing scores.