The One Thing the Cowboys And QB Dak Prescott Already Agree On
FRISCO - We finally have an agreement. No, not that agreement. But a tiny area, at least, where Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are on the same page.
First, understand: While the idea of the Dallas Cowboys switching out Dak Prescott in favor of Tom Brady seems ... well, wild ... the process of doing so would likely include placing a franchise tag on Prescott in order to trade him. And as we evaluate the realities of Brady-for-Dak, it's worth noting that Stephen Jones has given us a landmark to help guide us away from such a blockbuster.
“Our goal is to avoid it,” team COO Jones said of using a franchise tag on Prescott. “We want to get a deal done.''
Happily, the QB himself agrees on the wisdom of avoiding the tag.
"In my brain,'' Prescott said, "it only says that (a new contract) gets done ... Without the tag. ... "I don't think any of that (usage of the tag) is necessary. But that's business. That's all calculated. That's all on them."
The desire of a long-term deal between Dallas and Prescott is actually "all on both of them,'' with the goal to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history. That's nothing new. The desire to avoid the application of the tag (which is nothing more than a tool to retain the contractual rights to a player)? That means doing a deal before March 10, the NFL deadline to tag a player.
At least both parties are nodding their heads in unison on this one thing.
It's a great goal that would keep everyone - except, we suppose, Dak's most boisterous detractors - happy. Dallas would have a centerpiece star who the Joneses consider "deserving'' of top-QB pay. Prescott would have his monster contract in excess of $35 million APY (without, we still believe, ever having demanded $40 mil.) And the team's top locker-room leader would be present for all offseason work as new head coach Mike McCarthy implements his system here at The Star.
But if there is no agreement between now and March 10 (and NFL Network is right, above, in pointing out the traditional challenges)? The tag is coming. If Dak doesn't sign the tender? He can't get paid. If Dak signs the tender but there is either a) boiling bad blood between the two sides, b) an offer from another team to trade for him and/or c) the opportunity to replace him with a more viable or affordable or even superior option?
The Cowboys will use the tag ... and according to the Michael Irvin-led gossip, will consider moving on to a different QB. (No, the gossip didn't come to Michael from inside The Star, but it's still worth examining.
But if Stephen Jones is telling the truth about wishing to avoid the tag, that means he's telling the truth about the Cowboys wanting to keep Prescott above all other options, including luring Patriots free agent legend Tom Brady out of New England.
"We’re going to roll up our sleeves and when these things get momentum, they get done,'' Jones said. "But both sides got to be in a place where we think we’re within shouting distance of getting something done.”
There is, of course, lots of "shouting'' going on already. Dallas and Dak can quiet the noise by agreeing to a deal sooner rather than later.
Dak doesn't want the tag.
Stephen doesn't want the tag.
So at least we all agree on something.