Dak Prescott Speaks Out After Cowboys Contract Not Extended

The franchise tag extension deadline came and went without Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys reaching an agreement over a long-term deal but the quarterback insists he "couldn't be happier" in Texas.

The Cowboys and the 26-year-old failed to agree a multi-year extension before Wednesday deadline, meaning Prescott will play the upcoming season on a franchise tag worth $31.4 million.

When the Cowboys franchise-tagged their quarterback in March, there appeared to be plenty of room for a long-term deal to be agreed upon. However, by the time Prescott signed the franchise tender last month, momentum had significantly stalled and the two parties will find themselves in exactly the same scenario next offseason.

Prescott, however, reiterated he remained committed to play for the Cowboys.

"I'm a Cowboy and couldn't be happier," he was quoted as saying by USA TODAY Sports Wednesday night. "I look forward to working along coach [Mike] McCarthy, the staff, and my teammates to be the best team we can be in pursuit to our goal of a Super Bowl."

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Jane Slater reported the Cowboys had tabled their final offer, which was worth between $33 million and $35 million a year with over $100 million guaranteed. However, USA Today indicated that while Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones discussed the offer over the phone with Prescott and his representatives, the franchise did not submit a formal written offer.

Negotiations between the two parties lost significant momentum when the franchise offered Prescott a five-year deal, while the quarterback sought a four-year deal. In September last year, the Los Angeles Rams signed Jared Goff, who was drafted in the same year as Prescott, to a four-year extension worth $110 million.

Had Prescott agreed to the reported offer of a salary in the $33 million to $35 million a year range, he would have joined Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger and Goff as the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

The former signed a monster 10-year extension with the Kansas City Chiefs last week, which will pay him an average of $45 million a year when it kicks in in 2022. Wilson, meanwhile, agreed an extension worth an average of $35 million a year with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019 and the Pittsburgh Steelers pay Roethlisberger an average of $34 million a year.

Prescott will again bet on himself this season, after a campaign in which he recorded career-best in passing yards, touchdowns and average yards per pass.

Last season, he 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 reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, Mahomes and New Orleans Saints veteran Drew Brees.

Prescott will again be eligible for an extension in the next offseason, while Dallas will the possibility of using the franchise tag on him.

NFL rules state that a player that is franchise-tagged for two consecutive years must receive 120 percent of his previous salary, with the figure rising to 144 percent should he be franchise-tagged for three consecutive seasons.

In practical terms, should Prescott be franchise tagged again next season, he would make a combined $69.1 million. By contrast, Mahomes will make just $33.6 million over the same period as his 10-year extension doesn't kick in for another two years.

In four years as a starter, Prescott has led the Cowboys to the postseason twice, winning one of the three playoff games he's played.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins in the game at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty