Dak Prescott's Contract Sparks Wave of Praise for Cowboys QB's Big Payday

Current and former NFL players praised Dak Prescott for finally agreeing a long-term extension with the Dallas Cowboys, which will make him the second-highest paid player in the league.

The Cowboys announced on Monday they had signed Prescott to a four-year extension, bringing protracted negotiations that began over 12 months finally to an end.

While the franchise is yet to formally announce the terms of the contract, ESPN and NFL Network both reported Prescott's deal is worth $160 million over four years, making it the second-biggest in the NFL behind the 10-year deal worth up to $500 million Patrick Mahomes signed with the Kansas City Chiefs last year.

Prescott will receive a $66 million signing bonus—the highest in NFL history— and will pocket a record $75 million in the first year of his contract. The extension makes Prescott the second-highest paid in the NFL in terms of total value of the contract and average annual value, which sits at $40 million a season in his case.

Cowboys defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford welcomed the news Prescott will remain in Dallas for at least another four years, while former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said the franchise had made a "smart decision" by re-signing their star quarterback.

HE’S BAAAAAACCCKKKK 🤘🏿—> @dak

— DeMarcus Lawrence (@TankLawrence) March 8, 2021

CONGRATS @dak !!!!! #EarnedIt

— Tyrone Crawford 🇨🇦 (@TCrawford98) March 9, 2021

Bryant, who spent eight seasons in Dallas, compared the impasse surrounding Prescott's contract negotiations to the situation the Cowboys faced with DeMarco Murray after the 2014 season, when they allowed the running back to sign as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Bryant suggested losing Murray, who had just set a franchise single season rushing record with 12 games rushing for at least 100 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive year, derailed the Cowboys' chances of winning a Super Bowl.

"The Dak situation started to remind me whenever we let DeMarco walk in [20]15... me personally I knew our chances of having a chance to win the super bowl was gone... It wasn't the catch it was DeMarco leaving the team which made me feel hopeless. Smart decision," he tweeted.

The Dak situation started to remind me whenever we let Demarco walk in 15... me personally I knew our chances of having a chance to win the super bowl was gone.. it wasn’t the catch it was Demarco leaving the team which made me feel hopeless Smart decision @dallascowboys ....

— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) March 9, 2021

The Cowboys franchise-tagged Prescott last year after failing to agree a long-term extension with the 27-year-old and could have use the tag again this season, at a cost of $37.7 million.

ESPN reported Dallas will still apply the tag on Prescott as a procedural formality, but will save $15.5 million in cap space this season with the quarterback now counting $22.2 million towards the cap this year.

Current and former Cowboys players weren't alone in saluting Prescott's new deal.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a man who knows a thing or two about contract negotiations, praised Prescott for holding firm and getting financially rewarded.

It’s always earned.. nobody just giving out free money lol.. Congrats @dak https://t.co/5d6DIXz9Hn

— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) March 9, 2021

Two-time Super Bowl champion Torrey Smith and former NFL veteran Benjamin Watson echoed the sentiment, as did Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore.

Free agent wide receiver Golden Tate and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins also praised Prescott for putting pen to paper on a lucrative extension.

Meanwhile, former NFL safety Darius Butler suggested Prescott got a better deal than Mahomes pointing out the extension contained two key caveats—a no-trade clause and a no-tag provision.

The former means Prescott will be able to nix potential destinations should the Cowboys decide to trade him, while the latter prevents Dallas from using the franchise tag again when he becomes a free agent in four years.

I’m not a contract specialist but I feel like Dak got a much better deal than Mahomes 👀.

-$75M in year 1
-$66M GTD at signing.
-No Trade, No Tag.
-Back at the table at age 31 at the latest.

— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) March 9, 2021

From a financial perspective, however, Mahomes remains ahead of Prescott. The 2018 Super Bowl MVP will pocket an average of $45 million a year when his 10-year extension becomes effective in 2022.

Last season, Prescott was on track to obliterate several NFL's passing records before suffering a season-ending leg injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants, which derailed the Cowboys campaign.

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys attempts a pass against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Prescott signed a four-year extension worth $160m on March 8. Tom Pennington/Getty Images