New NFL CBA Would Create New Tag Urgency for Cowboys, Dak and Amari

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - Not long ago, conventional wisdom suggested that teams like the Dallas Cowboys - with multiple stars entering free agency - would be able to utilize multiple tags to retain their contractual rights. It was to be a useful tool in negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper.

But suddenly, and to the overall credit of NFL and the NFL Players Association, the two sides seem to be working quickly toward a collective bargaining agreement. Doing so will create long-term labor peace.

But as presently proposed and awaiting a vote from the NFLPA, when the collective bargaining agreement is signed it will have a significant impact on their plans this offseason. ... because reporting if a new CBA is reached prior to the start of the league year on March 18th, then NFL teams would only be able to apply one franchise tag.

With two tags, the Cowboys could have on March 10 placed the non-exclusive label on Prescott and the transition tag on Cooper (while continuing to negotiate with both). But this proposed change creates urgency for all involved parties to get at least one long-term deal done prior to the March 10 deadline. 

If the CBA goes through, and neither player is signed, and there is only one tag at their disposal, Dak Prescott will get tagged - and Amari Cooper will become a free agent, with no contractual ties to Dallas.

The timing on this is great for the health of the NFL but bad for the Cowboys (and for a handful of other teams in similar spots). At the same time, it was 30 years ago when we sat in the Valley Ranch office of owner Jerry Jones when he first uttered his now famous phrase, "Deadlines make deals.''

So conceivably, as a deadline is coming, maybe too is a deal or two.