Source: Amid Pessimism, Cowboys & Dak Taking 'Wait-and-See' Approach
FRISCO - There is no shortage of reasons for clock-watchers inside and outside The Star in Frisco to express some pessimism when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott reaching a long-term agreement by the Wednesday deadline.
But for anyone wishing that Prescott is not left to play under the tag in 2020, for anyone believing that a long-term commitment is the best scenario, there is a sliver of hope.
It's a "wait-and-see approach,'' as one source told CowboysSI.com on Monday.
Maybe that's not enough. Maybe the gap between the two sides' contractual desires (Dallas offering a five-year deal at $35 million average per year with $106 million in virtual guarantees, Prescott's side's wishlist including a shorter four-year term) is too grand. Maybe COVID-19 has put everybody's cap-related plans in question. Or maybe both sides simply waited too long to agree to a deal that was "imminent'' back in September ... until it wasn't.
July 15 is the deadline to either execute a long-term deal or play under the tag tender in 2020. That's not some tragic outcome; Prescott gets $31.409 million this year and he's good to go. And if anybody in the building is still not sold on Prescott as the long-term guy, this serves as (another) "prove-it'' set-up.
But a non-commitment can be damaging to a team's locker room, especially, we believe in this case, where Prescott has universal support among teammates.
Dallas can tag him again next year .... and the year after that, as cap-unfriendly as such a plan would be. It would mean that in 2021, he gets $37.68 million, fully-guaranteed. That’s $69.08 million for two years. And in 2022? That tag number is $54.25 million.
That’s a three-year total of $123.33 million, fully-guaranteed. And not optimal, as "triple-tag'' would cost Dallas $41.11 million average per year - fully-guaranteed. It would be simpler to just pay him $41.11 million per year now. As we discuss below, there are better "options'' than that.
So "pessimism''? Yes. There is no indication that talks have especially "heated up'' yet - or that they are officially scheduled to happen at all. There is certainly the feeling from the Cowboys that they've made a series of competitive offers. And from Prescott's perspective, standing pat and "betting on himself'' can mean a financial windfall.
But while Prescott will tell you that this is his first negotiating experience, it's not CAA's. Nor is it the Jones' first rodeo. Yesterday's "nothing'' has frequently resulted in tomorrow's deal - though again, that is not the present vibe here.
We recognize that reporting on a "wait-and-see approach'' isn't as "sexy'' as a report expressing "optimism'' or "pessimism'' or "movement.''
But a "wait-and-see'' approach at the negotiating table, as of midday Monday, is the truth.