The Dallas Cowboys' use of the franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott for the 2020 NFL season reportedly "looks inevitable" with the sides failing to make significant progress toward a long-term contract extension.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday both the Cowboys and Prescott would prefer a multiyear extension rather than the one-year deal associated with the tag, but they've reached an "impasse" because they disagree about his financial value.
Dallas chief operating officer Stephen Jones didn't shy away from the importance of the situation last month.
"It's been urgent for us. We certainly want to get that done," Jones told reporters. "That's our No. 1 priority as we go into the offseason—to get his contract, find some resolution to it and get it done."
Although the franchise tag would keep Prescott from leaving as an unrestricted free agent, the quarterback wouldn't commit to his level of participation with the team if it's used on him.
"I don't think any of that is necessary," he said Thursday in regards to the tag. "But that's business. That's all calculated. That's all on them."
Prescott sidestepped a question about whether he'd skip the offseason program if the Cowboys used the tag: "We'll get to that when we get to that. I look forward to talking to my agents and when that [tag] comes to play, the direction that we'll go. Until that's a reality, I won't worry about it."
It's unclear where the sides stand with their current offers.
Jane Slater of the NFL Network reported in August that Prescott turned down an offer of $30 million annually and was seeking a contract closer to $40 million per year, though Pro Football Talk described those demands as "false."
Prescott is coming off a season where he ranked second in passing yards (4,902), fourth in passing touchdowns (30), fourth in ESPN's Total QBR (70.2) and 10th in passer rating (99.7).
The 26-year-old Mississippi State product would be in line for a projected $26.9 million base salary for 2020 under the franchise tag, per Over The Cap.
He's the key piece in an important offseason for the Cowboys with wide receiver Amari Cooper, defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Sean Lee among their other pending free agents.