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Cowboys Place Exclusive Franchise Tag on Prescott

On Monday, the Dallas Cowboys placed the exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott. Jerry Jones and the rest of the Dallas front office had until 10:59 a.m. to work out a long-term deal with Prescott before finally resorting to using the franchise tag. This move guarantees that Dak will not be able to hit free agency this year.

This marks the first time in Dallas Cowboys history that the team has chosen to franchise tag a quarterback. Prescott’s projected salary for the 2020 season is $31.6 million under the tag. Although, if the Cowboys and Prescott can come together and negotiate a long-term contract before July 15th, he will not have to play under the tag.

Using the tag does not necessarily stop discussions between the two parties. In fact, it can raise some problems. It is unknown at the moment whether or not Prescott intends to report to Dallas’s offseason programs which are currently scheduled to kick off on April 6. Players who have been franchise tagged have been known to shirk their offseason workouts and instead report to minicamps or training camp, which are mandatory.

It is clear that Dallas does not want to lose the gem they found in the fourth round during the 2016 NFL draft. At last month’s NFL Scouting Combine, executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team would “Absolutely not” let Dak walk. Jones’s sentiments were shared by his father, Jerry, who was quoted as saying, “I am not, in any way, going to not have his rights, for one minute.” The Jones’ backed up their talk on Monday when they made it official.

Even though the Dallas front office ensured they would keep their guy playing for them during the 2020 season, they have certainly dropped the ball in terms of handling Prescott’s contract. Negotiations began last summer and dominated the headlines for a time, then after the season began it seemed as though nothing new was coming out in regard to any new potential deal. Stephen Jones confirmed this in February when he stated that the Cowboys had not been in contact with Prescott or his agent since before the start of the 2019 season.

The main issue with how Jones and company have handled this situation is the utter lack of urgency they have displayed. Owners and GM’s across the league are beating the Cowboys to the punch in signing their signal callers to more and more lucrative deals. On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year extension worth $118 million, including $62 million in fully guaranteed money and $91 million in total guarantees. Tannehill was coming off the best year of his career and the Titans rewarded him for it. But Ryan Tannehill is probably not worth that kind of money. The fact of the matter is that teams are going to have to start paying quarterbacks more and more as the years go on. Dallas needs to try as hard as they can to get a deal done with Prescott, because as the clock keeps ticking, his price keeps rising.

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