Dak Signs Franchise Tag

This doesn't mean the drama's done.

Jim Rome
June 23, 2020 - 9:17 am
Dak Prescott

USA Today


Dak Prescott signed his exclusive franchise tender yesterday. And you know me, there is nothing I like more than talking franchise tags, tenders, exclusive and non-exclusive.   That’s where I live. That’s how I am. That’s what I do. This is like Christmas in June for me. So you know I was fired up to talk about this one.

Prescott signed the $31.4 million tender yesterday and then posted a photo of himself in a Cowboy hat on Instagram.

So that means the Dak Prescott contract saga, which has run for more than a year, is finally over, right? This means that we’ll never have to hear Jerry Jones make some weird analogy about contract negotiations and a gruesome car accident where you bleed out in the woods, right?


And I know what you’re thinking: hey, Rome, he just signed a deal, this has to be the end, right? Nope. It’s not the end, it’s not even the end of the beginning. It’s just another spot on this road that seemingly has no end at all.

Because all signing the franchise tag means is that he has a deal for this year: so does have to show for camp whenever that begins. And he won’t Le’Veon the Cowboys this season; so I’m not saying it’s nothing. It’s not. It’s something. But it’s definitely not the end: and it doesn’t mean it’s all good for Jerruh, and Stevuh and the boys. They still don’t have a long term deal done. And they’re on the clock: Jerruh and Stevuh have until July 15th to hammer that out. 

So this isn’t the deal. At best, this is the deal that leads to the deal.

And it means that dopes can keep on talking about this for another three weeks. Fantastic. Absolutely truly and incredibly fantastic.

It means we can maybe have three more weeks of Jerry Jones doing stuff like this.

It means that we can have three more weeks of dopes trying to make this into an interesting topic. Three more weeks of people still trying to say that the team has leverage because they signed Andy Dalton to be a backup.; one of the worst takes ever manufactured on the hot take factory. 

Three more weeks of people trying to compare Dak’s numbers to the numbers of other quarterbacks and then trying to come up with some argument for why he is or isn’t worth what the market says he’s worth.

Three more weeks of “Russell Wilson got this, so Dak should get that” or “Prescott vs. Goff: compare and contrast” or “Prescott vs. Cousins: who you got?”

Three more weeks of junior cap-ologists trying to come up with the perfect number for Dak or speculating on what the cap will be like next year if there is a dip because of COVID and how that would impact the Cowboys.

Let me make it very simple: Dak Prescott deserves what the market says he deserves. Nothing less. All that crap about him being asked to take less because he’s the starting quarterback of the Cowboys and can make it up in endorsements is just that: crap.

There are two types of teams in the NFL: teams who have starting quarterbacks and those who don’t. 

You can’t do anything in this league without a legit starter. Everyone who doesn’t have one is chasing one. And those who do have one are lucky. They are fortunate. And you have to pay for that luck and that good fortune...

Quickly, fingers on buzzers, how much have the Cowboys paid Dak Prescott in his first four years?

16 million?
20 million?
Or 40 million? 

Wrong. The answer is a little over four million. Four million dollars. Not per year. Total. Just over four million dollars total for the first four years. Not that it matters, but Joe Flacco was making more than 20 million per year during that time.

In other words, the Cowboys got a complete and total steal for the first four years. And now it is time to pay up. They should be thrilled to be signing a long-term deal with Dak. They should be falling all themselves.

They should be saying, Dak, here’s a blank check. We’ve signed it, you fill out what you want and we’ll go from there.

And don’t tell me about the contracts for Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper and about the salary cap. First off, as we’ve talked about in the past, the salary cap is an artificial construct.

Jerry Jones is worth billions. So is just about every other NFL team owner. They created the salary cap and then throw their hands up in the air and say, whoa, this salary cap really ties my hands together, and I can’t afford to pay everyone.

Okay, then get rid of the cap. But of course that’s not going to happen. But you can’t tell me that the Cowboys didn’t know about the salary cap or that they haven’t done the math on how to keep the guys they want to keep.

And if you can’t keep them, if you get yourself into a jam, that’s on you, not on Dak. It’s not his job to bail you out. It’s your job to pay him what he’s worth.

And again, I’ll say this one more time and hopefully never have to say it again: quarterback contracts are about timing. They are all about timing and when your deal comes up. It is not about who is the best quarterback in the league. It is about timing.

And for the Cowboys, the time to get a deal done was a long time ago. We all know how this is going to end. And here’s the key: you get to pay him what he’s worth. You get to do that. You have the privilege of having a starting quarterback and one you found in the fourth round. You caught lightning in a bottle. He has been an absolute bargain.

Now you get to pay for him. There are a dozen other teams that would happily pay him. If you think you can do better for less money, by all means, let him walk. But if you don’t think that, if you don’t have the guts to do that, pay him. Pay him what he’s worth.

Quit complaining. As big a deal as Dak can get, it’s only slightly more than pocket change for Jerry. Sign the deal and let’s keep moving. The thing you could have and should have done a long time ago.