Dak Prescott Contract Latest: Dallas Cowboys Stars Is 'Going to Make a Lot of Money,' Says Troy Aikman

Bar notable exceptions, the period between the NFL draft and the beginning of training camp is notoriously one of the quietest during the NFL offseason. As the summer approaches, contractual negotiations are in the rearview mirror for the majority of players as a return to training looms large on the horizon.

For Dak Prescott, however, the scenario is somewhat different this year. The quarterback and the Dallas Cowboys have been working on a contract extension for months, but Prescott is yet to commit his long-term future to the franchise that selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

In March, the Cowboys franchise-tagged their quarterback but progress over a contract extension has been hard to come by.

Troy Aikman, one of Prescott's predecessors as Cowboys quarterback, however, believes the 26-year-old and the franchise will eventually reach an agreement.

"They [the Cowboys] will pay him, he's going to make a lot of money," the FOX Sports analyst, who won three Super Bowls with Dallas in the 1990s, was quoted as saying by Sports Illustrated.

"I think he's going to be the quarterback for the Cowboys for a long long time, and continue to have a great career."

Prescott and the Cowboys have until July 15 to reach an agreement on a contract extension. Should the two parties fail to strike a deal, negotiations would be put on hold until the end of the season.

July 15 is also the deadline for the former Mississippi State to decide whether he intends to sign the tender and play on the tag.

Doing so would see Prescott make $31.4 million fully guaranteed next season, but it would also legally allow him to avoid reporting to training camp.

The Cowboys could have used the transition tag—which would have given them the right to match an offer sheet Prescott could have signed with another team—or the non-exclusive franchise tag—which would have cost $26.8 million next year and given them the right to match any offer presented to Prescott or receive two first-round draft picks.

Instead, they opted to use the only tag that removes their quarterback from the market completely.

Should Prescott choose not to report to training camp, he would not lose any money until Week 1 of the regular season, which is due to begin on September 10.

Aikman admitted the protracted negotiations between the Cowboys and Prescott have come as a surprise, but remains confident the quarterback will lead Dallas' offense in the upcoming season.

"I've been surprised that there has been so much discussion about his contract," he explained.

"It's not like he's not going to be playing for the Cowboys in 2020. Whether he is franchised or he has a deal, he's going to be here playing and eventually a deal gets done."

Speculations over Prescott's future intensified last week, when former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms said Prescott had turned down a five-year deal worth a total of $175 million, only for the claim to be swiftly dismissed by the franchise and Prescott's agent.

Dragging contract negotiations on may suit Prescott more than the Cowboys. It may be hard to argue that franchise quarterbacks in the NFL remain at a premium at a time when former MVP Cam Newton can't find a team, but elite quarterbacks are still a relative rarity.

Prescott may not be in that bracket yet, but has led the Cowboys to the postseason twice in four years as a starter in Dallas, winning one of the three playoff games he's played. Last season, Prescott ranked second in the entire NFL in passing yards and fourth in touchdown passes last season with 4,902 and 30 respectively on a completion rate of 65.1 percent and also rated fourth in total quarterback rating behind only Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees.

Proven starters, which Prescott certainly is, have seen salaries swell over the last four years. The salary of the highest-paid NFL quarterback in terms of annual average has soared by 42.3 percent from when Andrew Luck signed his extension with the Indianapolis Colts in 2014 to when Russell Wilson agreed a four-year $140 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks, which pays him an average of $35 million a year.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins in the game at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys could use the franchise tag on Prescott this month. Tom Pennington/Getty