'Report That!' Says QB Dak Prescott When Asked About A Cowboys Contract Holdout
The Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott have mostly played nice when it comes to the negotiations that figure to eventually make the QB the highest-paid player in franchise history. Dak has frequently said he's "not worried.'' The Joneses have frequently said, "He's our future'' and recently said, "We'll go to war with him.''
But this week in Miami, the site of Super Bowl LIV, Prescott may have just created a South Beach-sized wave.
Can Prescott promise that he’ll show up for offseason workouts if the team chooses to tag him?
"We'll get to that when we get to that,'' Prescott said. “I look forward to talking to my agents and when that (franchise tag) comes to play, the direction that we’ll go. Until that’s a reality, I won’t worry about it.”
But then, when asked if he plans to spend much time in Dallas in the coming months, Prescott said no.
“Report that,” Prescott said. “Be sure to report that.”
What to make of that? It is a threat? A promise? A wink (because part of the time this offseason will be spend vacation, often with teammates as he usually does, and some of the time will be spent in California at Tom House's throwing camp)?
Pro Football Talk, in labeling the overtones here as "ominous,'' writes that Dallas is "facing the question of whether to sign him to a new contract or to apply the franchise tag,'' might be being overly dramatic on its first evaluation and is flat-wrong on its second. Dallas does not need to "choose''; if there is no deal in place by March 10, the Cowboys will absolutely apply the tag (worth $33 million) as a matter of course, to retain the contractual rights to the player. And negotiations will carry on from there.
Prescott cited "disappointment” that a deal isn't done, but that's the "fault,'' if that's the right word, of both sides. They came close to a deal last September that would've paid the QB around $35 million APY. (Pro Football Talk is therefore wrong again when it suggests Dallas should sign him to a deal "with an average value in the range of $31 million.'' That toothpaste is way out of the tube.)
They were close at $35 mil. There is every reason to come close again. ... and to do it soon, both sides, before the question of Dak's whereabouts become an issue.
If that does not happen, and Dak does indeed withhold his services - as he's well within his rights to do, as he will be unsigned - then "ominous'' comes into play. The Jones family's view is that they've done everything possible to guide Prescott to being the next-gen centerpiece of "America's Team,'' and that good-faith bargaining should be the result of that. "Good-faith bargaining'' includes showing up for work so as the fiber of this team's locker-room bond isn't ripped apart over the very person teammate Ezekiel Elliott labels "our heart and soul.''
Prescott has the right to view it differently. We'll "report that'' now. And if he opts to skip the April 6 start of offseason programs (by NFL rule, teams with new head coaches may begin offseason programs two weeks earlier than normal), we'll report that, too.