FRISCO – The final days of the 2019 season focused on Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Dak Prescott, while concerned for his head coach, has something else on his mind.
“I think it’s the last game on my (contract) as well,” the Cowboys quarterback remarked Thursday. “I’ll be damned if I speak on anybody else’s future or their place.”
Sunday, the Cowboys face the Redskins in the regular-season finale where a loss ends their season, eliminating them from playoff contention. Prescott will enter an unsettled offseason. He doesn’t have a new contract for 2020, although the organization tried to extend him in the summer.
The Cowboys offered Prescott a contract that would place him within the top five at his position financially.
Based on Prescott’s representatives rejecting the deal, the quarterback gambled on himself that if he played well enough he could receive one of the richest contracts in NFL history.
Overall, Prescott produced a strong season that has him ranked second in passing yards (4,599), tied for fifth in touchdowns (26) and second in first-down passes (216). But his team is 7-8 and needs help to make the postseason. In an odd twist, Prescott hasn’t led the Cowboys on any fourth-quarter comebacks or game-winning drives. Of the 16 quarterbacks with at least 15 starts, only Prescott has failed to rally his team to a victory.
In the past five games, Prescott has completed just 59.6% of his passes with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He will conclude his season, whenever it ends, playing with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder.
All of these facts can be interpreted in different ways. You could say Prescott has played well enough to warrant a contract worth more than Russell Wilson’s, who tops quarterbacks in average salary at $35 million. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, drafted the same year as Prescott, signed contract extensions before the season that make them Nos. 1 and 2 in guaranteed money for their position.
Should Prescott get more guaranteed money than Goff ($110 million) or Wentz ($107.9 million) based on what he’s done this year?
The Cowboys, of course, could franchise Prescott in late February. The projected franchise tag for a quarterback is $26.7 million, or he could receive the transition tag at $24.2 million.
As we move toward the end of the regular season, Prescott is destined for a franchise tag. The Cowboys franchised DeMarcus Lawrence the past two seasons before finally reaching a long-term deal with him this past spring. So it’s nothing to worry about if Prescott receives the franchise tag. Yet it’s somewhat surprising Prescott doesn’t have a new deal.
An outside variable is Prescott waiting to see if Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson get new contracts. The longer the Cowboys wait to take care of Prescott, the more his price could go up if Mahomes and Watson gets new deals before him.
Or the Cowboys could just wait it out, franchise Prescott and eventually get him to sign at a financial number to their liking.
So yeah, Prescott has things to worry about outside of Garrett’s own contract.
“That’s the business,” Prescott said. “It’s my first time going through it, not surprised by anything that comes from it, from the league, from the team, from whatever, learning as I go.”
Calvin Watkins, Sports Day, DMN