Cowboys Taking a Major Risk With Dak Prescott's Contract Situation

The Cowboys are reportedly not planning to offer Prescott an extension.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Dak Prescott is entering the final year of his contract in 2024 and the Dallas Cowboys have decided to let things play out. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Dallas has not offered Prescott an extension and the two sides have "a mutual understanding of his contract situation." Jerry Jones and his franchise are flirting with disaster by not working out a new deal.

Despite his faults, Prescott is a true franchise quarterback. The Cowboys believed that in 2021 when they handed him a four-year, $160 million contract. When healthy, he has rewarded that trust, playing at a near-MVP level. Apparently that hasn't been good enough to reward him with a new deal.

In 2023, Prescott turned in arguably the best season of his NFL tenure. He set career-highs in completion percentage (69.5) and passer rating (105.9), while leading the NFL in passing touchdowns (36). He finished second in QBR (72.7), third in passing yards (4,516) and fifth among regular starters in yards per attempt (7.7). Despite those numbers, he'll enter the 2024 season as the NFL's 11th highest-paid player while making $36 million.

One of the big knocks on Prescott is that he hasn't tasted much postseason success but, to be fair, neither have the Cowboys as a franchise. That problem predates Prescott's career by two decades. Dallas has only notched five playoff victories since winning Super Bowl XXX on January 28, 1996, and hasn't reached the NFC Championship Game since then. Blaming Prescott for the franchise's postseason woes is short-sighted.

The salary cap jumped up by around $30 million for 2024, and is expected to make another big leap next offseason. If that is indeed the case, Prescott has set himself up for a huge payday as quarterback salaries are likely to skyrocket. The 30-year-old is in his prime. Expecting a big regression this season would be foolish. By not signing him now, the Cowboys risk costing themselves a ton of money, or allowing Prescott to find a new deal elsewhere like Kirk Cousins did this offseason.

The Cowboys are gambling big by allowing Prescott to enter the final year of his contract with no plan moving forward. They could wind up regretting that decision.

Ryan Phillips is a senior writer at The Big Lead.


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Ryan Phillips

RYAN PHILLIPS

Ryan Phillips is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Ryan has worked in digital media since 2009, spending eight years at The Big Lead before joining the SI team in 2024. He also co-hosts The Assembly Call Podcast about Indiana Hoosiers basketball and previously worked at Bleacher Report. Ryan is a proud San Diego native and a graduate of Indiana University’s journalism school.