Breathe a sigh of relief Cowboys fans: The deal is done, and Dak is staying in Dallas.
The Dallas Cowboys and franchise quarterback Dak Prescott have agreed to terms on a four-year, $160-million contract that includes $126 millon in guaranteed money, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday evening.
Prescott will receive an unprecedented $66 million signing bonus, the highest such amount in NFL history. The first three years of the pact will net Prescott $42 million per season on average, with $75 million due in the first year, which is another NFL record, sources told Schefter.
The contract is actually for six years, but voids to four with the potential to be worth up to $164 million for the Mississippi State alumnus, a source said.
One of the biggest points of contention between these two sides over the nearly three years that they’ve been negotiating has been the contract length, and this four year deal with two voidable years is a compromise that allows both sides to get what they want.
Prescott gets to retest the market after the 2024 season when the salary cap is expected to balloon thanks to new TV money, and the Cowboys are able to use those voidable years to give themselves some flexibility as they and the rest of the league navigate a heavily COVID-ravaged salary cap during the first couple years of the deal.
Despite that enormous amount due to Prescott for Year 1, he actually only counts $22.2 million against the cap this season, which is $15.5 million less than the $37.7 million he would’ve counted had the team decided to hit the 27-year-old with the franchise tag for the second straight season.
Dallas did announce their agreement with Prescott as well as a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, but have yet to confirm any contract details. The Cowboys will place the tag on their quarterback on Tuesday purely as a formality, a source told Schefter.
With that Wednesday presser, a story that has been a constant in the sports news cycle for nearly three years will come to a most expected conclusion. All along, the Cowboys were clear in wanting Dak to be their quarterback of the present and future, and Prescott always maintained his desire to play for Dallas.
It seems stubbornness is what kept the Cowboys from signing their guy for so long, and his absence after a gruesome ankle injury in Week 5 last season proved just how important he was, which surely played a large role in Jerry Jones and company giving in and forking over the Sulphur, Louisiana native’s well-deserved bag.
Bookmakers and sportsbooks are even less surprised than you and I to see Prescott returning to the Cowboys this season, with their -111 NFL odds (888sport) to win the NFC East remaining stagnant with this news. Their odds to win the Super Bowl haven’t changed either and remain way up at +2,800, good for just 14th on the odds table.
If they want more respect from the sportsbooks, the Cowboys will likely need to significantly upgrade a roster that missed the playoffs for the third time in four years and struggled to a 4-7 record without Prescott and a 6-10 mark overall in 2020.
Last year Dallas gave up the eighth-most sacks (44), the fifth-most points (29.6 per game), and the second-most rushing yards (158.8 per game) in the NFL. If those numbers are any indication, the Cowboys will need to do a lot more than re-sign Prescott to get back to their first Super Bowl in over a quarter century, much less win one.
Which is not to say that getting the Prescott deal squared away is not a huge first step for Dallas. Not only does it remove a lot of media attention and overall speculation, but it locks in a very high-quality player at a position of extreme importance.
Prescott was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year back in 2016, and has been one of the top signal callers in the league ever since, succeeding where nearly all other quarterbacks drafted in the fourth-round have failed. Prescott has thrown for 400+ yards in a Cowboys-record seven games, and has also earned himself two Pro Bowl nods during his five-year career.
The newly-signed quarterback has tossed the rock for 17,634 yards, 106 touchdowns, and 40 picks on a 66 completion percentage in the NFL. He has also amassed 15 game-winning drives, a Cowboy-record 24 rushing touchdowns from the quarterback position, a 42-27 regular season record, and a 1-2 mark in the playoffs.
No doubt he and the Cowboys will be focusing especially on getting the numbers up on that last one during this upcoming season.