Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is committed to Prescott as his quarterback of the future and would use the tag, if necessary, to give the two sides more time to negotiate a long-term deal.
Prescott would make around $38 million in 2021 if he is franchised again. A long-term contract extension would likely top that number on a yearly basis but be structured to give the Cowboys more immediate salary-cap room.
Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in last week's win over the New York Giants, which will keep him out the remainder of the season. He underwent successful surgery but has a complicated recovery process ahead of him.
The Cowboys will have an extended look at how their offense looks without Prescott with Andy Dalton under center the rest of 2020. Dalton spent nine seasons as the Bengals' starting quarterback but never came close to having this level of talent surrounding him.
It's at least theoretically possible a Pro Bowl-level performance from Dalton leads to the Cowboys changing their course at quarterback. Dallas could use the tag on Prescott for the express purpose of trading him and fortifying the roster elsewhere, particularly on defense.
That seems like an unlikely scenario at the moment, but far stranger things have happened.