Cowboys Explain Dak Prescott's Absence from Hype Video Amid Contract Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) walks onto the field or a series against the New York Giants in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys released a hype video for the 2021 season Monday, and quarterback Dak Prescott—who heads into the offseason as a free agent—was conspicuously absent. 

Dallas Cowboys @dallascowboys

Next season starts now. #DallasCowboys | #CowboysNation https://t.co/R45IJhO7lf

Obviously more than a few folks took notice, and the team's director of media and programming, Derek Eagleton, and DallasCowboys.com writer David Helman quickly explained the omission:

Derek Eagleton @derekeagleton

This was simply an oversight that should have been caught and corrected by us. Anyone who’s making it seem like Cowboys’ decision makers use social media videos to make statements doesn’t understand or take the time to understand how it all works. Trust me, there’s no story here. https://t.co/7Pt8fgrCwl

David Helman @HelmanDC

@Money_Mase11 @CowboysStats @dallascowboys he’s not under contract and the people who make those videos don’t have any better of an idea of what’s going to happen than the rest of us. it ain’t that deep.

The 27-year-old Prescott and the Cowboys weren't able to agree on a long-term contract extension before last season, leading to the team resorting to a $31.4 million franchise tag to keep Prescott out of free agency. 

The Cowboys could go the franchise tag for a second straight season, but that's the nuclear option for two reasons:

  • 1. It would cost them roughly $37.7 million. 
  • 2. It would be the last time they could go that route, meaning Prescott would be a free agent in the 2022 offseason and likely would depart, seeing as he and the Cowboys would have failed to come to terms on a long-term deal in three consecutive offseasons

Losing Prescott at any point would be an enormous setback for a Cowboys franchise that has made the playoffs just three times since 2010 and hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1995, the largest title drought in team history. 

Prescott was having a superb season in 2020 before a compound fracture in his right ankle in Week 5 ended his year, throwing for 1,856 yards, nine scores and four interceptions while completing 68 percent of his passes. He was on pace for another career year, a season removed from setting career highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdowns (30). 

With Prescott out, the Cowboys lost four straight games and went 4-7 overall down the stretch, missing the playoffs yet again. 

Suffice to say, Cowboys fans will see Prescott as an indispensable part of the organization's future and will expect the team to feel the same. That he wasn't on the hype video heading into this offseason will understandably be seen as an ominous sign, even if it was merely an oversight.