'Cowboys Need A Deal More Than Dak Does,' Says NFL Analyst Rapoport

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - "Who has the leverage?'' "Who has the advantage?'' "Who needs it more?'' These are normal questions when it comes to high-level negotiations with unsigned NFL players. And when it comes to Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, Ian Rapoport suggests to me that he has the answer.

"To me, the Cowboys need a deal more than Dak does,'' the NFL Network analyst tells me.

The logic? "Rap Sheet'' thinks management views this as a contending team, and that "windows'' don't last forever. There is a "window'' for this Dak-led franchise ... now.

Additionally, Rapoport suggests that while Prescott is uniquely built to be the Cowboys QB (with all the spotlight and pressure that comes with that), he's also uniquely built to simply play on the $31.409 million franchise tag in 2020 - and maybe to do it again in 2021 if necessary.

"For Dak, it makes a lot of sense,'' Rapoport says. "(Normally), it's hard to play in a contract year. It's hard to bet on yourself. We've seen players go the wrong way when it comes to putting it all on the line, betting on themselves while being a contract here. 

"(But) I don't think Dak cares about any of that. He showed us all last year. He's so good at dealing with the outside world, which is perfect for a Cowboys quarterback.

"I don't think he's going to mind betting on himself again.''

Dallas would like Prescott to sign a five-year deal that, as we've reported for months, is now worth about $35 million APY with a virtual guarantee total of in excess of $106 million. Prescott prefers a shorter-term, four-year deal in order to be able to cash in again as soon as possible following the post-2022 season expiration of the present TV contract, at which time the NFL salary cap (and QB salaries) is expected to increase greatly.

Says Rapoport via our visit on 105.3 The Fan: "I think the team will be good. I think he's gonna be good and he's still going to end up with a huge deal. I think the more the Cowboys wait, the more expensive it's going to get. When the (Chiefs' Patrick) Mahomes gets done, it's going to get more expensive. 

"It would behoove the Cowboys to do a deal yesterday. Problem is, fundamentally, I just don't think they believe that a four-year deal is where it should be. That's what makes it really hard and that's why there's a stalemate.''