With the new CBA being approved by the NFLPA on Sunday morning, the Dallas Cowboys are now in rough shape to re-sign both Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.
The Dallas Cowboys have epitomized how to go about free agency the wrong way.
By enabling running back Ezekiel Elliott to jump in line to get paid last offseason, Dallas is in quite the bind in how to best approach the 2020 NFL free agency period. The Cowboys have three marquee free agents hitting the market in quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones.
Dallas traded a first-round pick to the then-Oakland Raiders for a year and a half of Cooper’s services. You wouldn’t think the Cowboys would let him walk, but that may now be a strong possibility with the new CBA being ratified on Sunday morning. Dallas is in a great deal of trouble regarding the new CBA being ratified and here is why.
We know Jones is as good as gone. No, it doesn’t matter he was a Pro Bowler for the Cowboys and a former first-round pick, Dallas can’t afford to pay him a premium, even with the sixth-best salary cap situation heading into 2020. The reason the new CBA tightens the clamps on what the Cowboys can potentially do in free agency is it eliminates one of their options to tag a player.
Because Prescott is a former forth-round pick, he has never received a huge pay-day in his career. He has every right to fight for every dollar he can command from the Cowboys. If they’re not going to pay him, some other quarterback desperate team will. With Dallas having not agreed to an extension with him yet, it feels as if he’s more likely to be slapped with the franchise tag than not.
Though he is the type of player the tag was intended for, Prescott will be paid the average of the top five salaries at his position in 2020. This is fine when a team believes it has a top-tier quarterback, but when the guy being tagged is maybe top 12 in the NFL, a franchise is overpaying for good, but not great player at the position, which hurts the rest of the team’s financial flexibility.
As for Cooper, Dallas can no longer use the transition tag on him because of the new CBA being ratified. The transition tag is less popular than the franchise tag, but teams can only use one or the other, not both, now the new CBA has been approved. Dallas will have to work out at least one long-term deal to bring back Prescott and Cooper to its football team. It could be challenging.