Cowboys Rumors: Dak Prescott to Get Franchise Tag If New Contract Isn't Reached

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Regardless of how contract negotiations go this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys aren't going to let Dak Prescott hit free agency.

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys will use the franchise tag on their star quarterback if no long-term deal is reached prior to the March 9 deadline to designate players with the one-year tender.

Even though the franchise tag is on the table, Pelissero and Rapoport noted that Dallas "will make a push" to sign Prescott to a long-term extension.

Prescott is recovering from surgery to repair the compound fracture and dislocated ankle he suffered in Week 5 against the New York Giants.

Rapoport reported in January on NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning (h/t NFL.com's Adam Maya) that the Cowboys think Prescott is "going to come back better than ever" based on the rehab work he's already done.

This marks the second straight offseason in which Dallas will attempt to sign its two-time Pro Bowl quarterback to a contract extension. The two sides failed to come to terms last year, leading to Prescott playing on a franchise tag worth $31.4 million.

If Prescott signs the one-year tender again in 2021, he will earn $37.7 million.

Spotrac estimates the Cowboys have $27.7 million in cap space, assuming a $175 million salary cap, for next season without factoring in a potential Prescott contract. The NFL has yet to announce the cap for 2021, but Pelissero reported on Feb. 3 it could end up in the $185 million range.

Prescott was on a historic pace through the first four games in 2020 prior to his injury. He had the most passing yards through four games in NFL history (1,690) and led the league with 137 attempts and 201 completions.