The Dallas Cowboys might have found their franchise quarterback, Dak Prescott. However, the Cowboys have had problems signing him to a long-term contract. Last season, the Cowboys and Prescott couldn’t agree on a contract so as a result, Dallas decided to franchise tag him.
Although Dallas has stated numerous times that they want to sign Prescott to a long-term contract, both sides haven’t agreed on the contract.
Even though Prescott was projected to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021, the Cowboys will not allow that to happen. The Cowboys will franchise tag Prescott once again if they can’t agree on a contract. This ensures that Prescott stays in Dallas for at least one more season.
A franchise tag is a tricky option for players. If a team decides to franchise tag a certain player, the player cannot decline it. Essentially, the franchise tag ensures that a player won’t become an unrestricted free agent.
In the past couple of seasons, players around the league have mixed opinions on being franchise tagged. Washington franchise-tagged Kirk Cousins twice in 2016 and 2017. Although almost any player would prefer to sign a long-term contract, Cousins was one instance of a player who didn’t mind the franchise tag.
When Cousins and Prescott faced off against each other two seasons ago, Cousins gave some advice to Prescott regarding the franchise tag.
“Don’t be afraid of the franchise tag,” said Cousins to Prescott.
There are also other times where players hate the franchise tag. At the top of that list was Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers franchise-tagged Bell in both 2017 and 2018. However, Bell didn’t want the franchise in 2018. As a result, he sat out of the season making a total of $0.
The value of the franchise tag also increases every season. The Cowboys franchised tagged Prescott in 2020 where he earned $33 million. If Dallas decides to franchise tag Prescott again in 2021, he would approximately earn close to $37 million.
The Cowboys can obviously avoid giving the franchise tag if they can sign Prescott to a long-term contract. Both sides have expressed interest to get a deal done. However, last season both sides were way off on the terms of the contract.
Could Dallas be more willing to get a deal done this year?
Yes, the Cowboys really struggled on offense without Prescott. Through the first five weeks of the season, the Cowboys had the third highest-scoring offense in the league. Without Prescott from weeks 6-17, the Cowboys averaged a mere 21.1 points per game which ranked 25th in the league.
According to PFF, they project Prescott to sign a four year, $158 million contract this offseason ($39.5 million annually).
Although Prescott and the Cowboys haven’t agreed to a contract yet. A franchise tag is still an option that the Cowboys can go. There is one thing certain, Dak Prescott will still be a Dallas Cowboy next year and will not be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Featured Image Courtesy of Dallas Morning News