Cowboys' Stephen Jones: Dak Prescott's New Contract Is 'Elephant in the Room'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 14, 2020

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) prior to an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys placed the exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott in mid-March, earning him $31.409 million in 2020, but a long-term agreement remains unfinished.

"Dak, obviously, is the elephant in the room," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. "Everyone knows it. We've just got to keep grinding."

Moore added: "[Ezekiel] Elliott and [Amari] Cooper have new contracts. Prescott hasn't. Sources say the Cowboys currently have an offer on the table that would make the quarterback the highest-paid player in the NFL. The dispute involves the structure and size of the guarantee along with the length of the deal."

Dallas signed Cooper to a five-year, $100 million extension around the same time Prescott received the tag, while Elliott agreed to a six-year, $90 million extension last September.

To Moore's point, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported on March 30 that the holdup in Prescott's deal getting done is "largely about how long the contract is going to be":

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

A crucial aspect in the Dak Prescott negotiations with the Cowboys: Number of years in the deal. While Dallas has traditionally done longer deals with key veterans, Prescott might want a shorter deal to take advantage of a future salary cap explosion https://t.co/xrzqSFH1pn

The two sides reportedly restarted negotiations on March 25:

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

Source: The #Cowboys have resumed contract negotiations with Dak Prescott for the first time since using the exclusive franchise tag on him. A team source said the #NFL currently shows a $26.8M charge to the cap for Prescott even though he has not signed the franchise tender.

Discussions about Prescott's extension date back to at least spring 2019 but stalled last September before the 2019 season began.

The 26-year-old stated in May 2019 that he wants to "be a Cowboy forever" (50-second mark):

The Cowboys took Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft out of Mississippi State. The two-time Pro Bowler was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year with 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions on 67.8 percent completion while adding 282 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

Last season, Prescott threw for a career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns opposite 11 picks.