It’s reached the point where Dak Prescott signing a long-term deal with anyone would be a foolish way to max out his value.
What’s a Dallas Cowboys offseason without a little contract drama?
In what is probably the biggest standoff since Emmitt Smith asked for a new contract back in 1993, the Cowboys once again find themselves in a game of chicken with a star player with millions of dollars at stake. When talk of Dak Prescott’s contract extension first came up, many believed the Cowboys should pay him and lock up a franchise cornerstone for the next handful of years. It was also believed that the longer the Cowboys waited, the higher the price point would get thanks to other quarterbacks signing new deals in the interim and thus raising the floor of Dak’s market value.
Dak still doesn’t have a deal and Dallas may have waited too long.
Smith’s holdout ended when an $8 million difference in opinion ended with Jerry Jones paying him $13.6 million — which was the largest contract for a running back at the time. Dak is going to make a lot more than that, but could similarly make history if he stays the course and continues to bet on himself.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out, it really sounds like it’s in Dak’s best interest to forgo signing a long-term deal and bet on himself like another former NFC East quarterback.
“If Dak Prescott does not sign a long-term deal by Wednesday’s deadline and goes the Kirk Cousins route, it could pay off financially.” Schefter tweeted. “From 2016 – his first season under the franchise tag – through 2020, Cousins will have earned more money than any player in the NFL.”
Cousins has been terribly unremarkable his entire career, save for a few memorable moments here. But the deal he received from the Vikings was intended to be one that placed the final piece of a Super Bowl puzzle on the table, and the results have been less than ideal.
In Cousins’ two seasons in Minnesota, the Vikings have made the playoffs only once (albeit upsetting the New Orleans Saints the year they made it). There’s immense pressure for him to deliver in Year Three, but that ultimately doesn’t matter to his bank account. Cousin’s deal with the Vikings is fully guaranteed.
Cousins is fine, but he’s painfully mediocre. If a glorified game manager could get $83 million guaranteed, imagine what a more elite talent like Dak could get. Cousins was paid because he was the closest thing to a franchise quarterback on the market, and Dak is leaps and bounds ahead of him.
Dallas could have gotten a deal done earlier had Jerry Jones not pinched pennies to save a few bucks. That decision could lead to the Cowboys playing hardball with their franchise quarterback but be left holding an empty bag when all is said and done.