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Dak Prescott, Cowboys Agree to Reported Record-Setting 4-Year, $160M Contract

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys have at last secured their long-term future at quarterback by signing Dak Prescott to an extension.

"The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms on a new contract with quarterback Dak Prescott on Monday," the Cowboys said, per Jane Slater of NFL Network. "Further information and details will be released at a formal press announcement on Wednesday."

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported it's a four-year, $160 million deal with a record $126 million in guaranteed money. The deal can reportedly max out at $164 million. Schefter later added that it's technically a six-year deal that is voidable to four years:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Dak Prescott’s deal actually is a six-year deal that voids to four years so as to help the Cowboys against the cap, per source. @toddarcher alluded to this structure Feb. 16. https://t.co/sK5zIZU2xY

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

One league source on the Dak Prescott deal: "You know what this is? This is Jerry Jones tipping off the extraordinary TV deal that is coming."

According to Schefter, Prescott will receive a $66 million signing bonus and will earn $75 million in the first year.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Dak got P 💸 A 💸 I 💸 D https://t.co/pohtY88XKG

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Highest signing bonus in NFL history:   Dak Prescott               $66M Russell Wilson            $65M Aaron Rodgers           $57.5M Matthew Stafford       $50M Matt Ryan                     $46.5M Joe Flacco                    $40M Aaron Donald               $40M

James Palmer of NFL Network put that total in perspective:

James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV

Most Money to be Earned 2021 Season   DAL Dak Prescott      $75.0M DET Jared Goff        $27.8M IND Carson Wentz      $25.4M TB  Tom Brady         $25.0M SF  Jimmy Garoppolo   $25.0M

Schefter noted the Cowboys will still place the franchise tag on Prescott on Tuesday as a procedural move. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Prescott's deal will also include a no-trade clause and a no-tag provision.

After news of the deal broke, Prescott's brother Tad tweeted a photo of him and Dak:

Tad Prescott @86Prescott

When your little brother gets the call. Let’s go @dak time to win the @dallascowboys a Super Bowl. https://t.co/PzlCKejTe5

Prescott was able to obtain the security even after suffering a season-ending leg injury against the New York Giants in October. He was leading the NFL with 1,690 passing yards through the first four games in 2020.

Dallas' season fell apart after Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocated ankle. He had surgery on Oct. 11 and continues to progress in his quest to be ready for Week 1 in 2021.

Despite the significance of the injury, the Cowboys insisted they wanted to keep Prescott as their quarterback.

Speaking on 105.3 The Fan in January (h/t The Athletic's Jon Machota), Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said in no uncertain terms that Prescott is whom they want running the offense.

"But at the end of the day—and Andy (Dalton) knows this—this is Dak's football team. We're obviously very committed to getting Dak signed," Jones said.

The two-time Pro Bowler was due to become a free agent for the second straight year after playing last season under the one-year franchise tender worth $31.4 million.

Per Sports Illustrated's Mike Fisher, one key difference for Prescott and the Cowboys when they were talking about an extension last offseason was how many years it would be.

Fisher noted the Cowboys were offering a five-year deal worth $35 million per season with "virtual guarantees of in excess of $106 million," but Prescott preferred a four-year contract that gave him the ability to test the market after his age-30 season.

It's widely believed that the salary cap will go up after the 2022 season when the NFL will have new television contracts.

Regardless of those future implications, the most important thing for the Cowboys right now is they were able to get Prescott under contract to avoid another season of constant contract talk with their franchise quarterback.

Prescott had the best season of his career in 2019. The 27-year-old ranked second in the NFL with 4,902 passing yards, fourth with 30 touchdown passes and fourth with a 71.9 QBR.

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