Athletes love to use social media to send cryptic messages. And, sometimes, athletes just press buttons on their phone.
In the case of Dallas Cowboys star QB Dak Prescott on Monday following the Washington Football Team on Instagram ... which is it?
The WFT have a couple of options at quarterback, including the reigning Comeback Player of the Year, Alex Smith, as well as any of number of QBs who can be had in the draft, via free agency or a trade. Washington's goal, though, is to upgrade.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, have stated that their option is an obvious one: They intend to retain the Pro Bowl-caliber Prescott, via long-term contract - one that might make him the highest-paid player in NFL history - or via another franchise tag, that in 2021 would pay him $37.7 million.
Those issues, along with the cryptic nature of some "subtle messaging,'' are pretty much set in stone.
What is less clear, as media and fans alike are always searching for clues to add insight to a player's thinking: Is a move like this - Prescott following "the enemy'' in Washington because he ...
*Is scouring IG for good follows?
*Is interested in what's up with "the enemy''?
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*Pressed a button by accident?
*Wants to signal to the world that he'd like to escape Dallas and play for the NFC East champs?
Wait ... what?
If Dak is trying to get attention here, he succeeded. The media frenzy was such that Prescott (maybe coincidentally) swiftly unfollowed the Washington account.
Ironically, all of this happened right about at the same time as the Cowboys' otherwise-outstanding social-media team released a "hype'' video guiding Cowboys Nation to the excitement that awaits it in 2021 ... but the video (in what the Cowboys call an "honest mistake'') features a collection of players, none of them named "Dak Prescott.''
Maybe Prescott's IG follow of "the enemy'' was a playful poke at Dallas for accidentally and momentarily forgetting his importance to the Cowboys?
The Cowboys have until March 9 to place the franchise tag on Prescott for the second straight offseason. Should they not come to an agreement by the mid-July deadline, he'll play in 2021 under the tag. For fans (and media members) who put stock in real negotiations and real on-field accomplishments - rather than in silly video games and "oops!'' online mistakes, those deadline dates cannot come quickly enough.