The Dallas Cowboys and their quarterback Dak Prescott will soon be at a contract impasse. Which side will budge in this game of contract chicken?
The Dallas Cowboys have tried to sign their quarterback, Dak Prescott, to a contract extension since the end of the 2018 season when Prescott had completed his third season. Some media members have gone so far to say that Owner Jerry Jones has made a colossal error in his handling of this contract.
We do not know what Prescott wants only that he appears to want more than $33 million per season. Dak and his representatives have been largely silent on the topic of his contract other than Prescott wishing he had a super model for a wife before he would consider giving the Cowboys a hometown discount.
Athletes are very good at compartmentalizing the business aspect from the non-business aspects of the game. Most players are supportive of their teammates maximizing their value and getting the most they can with their contracts.
But should they be? The NFL has had a salary cap since 1994 which has leveled the playing field for all teams. Each team has the same amount of salary cap space to allocate to player acquisition.
Every dollar that one player makes is a dollar less for another player. When do teammates of a player who has been offered a contract that would give him the second highest average salary in the history of the NFL and the player wants more view their teammate as selfish?
Quarterback salaries have grown disproportionately compared to other positions since the last CBA was signed in 2011. The owners strategically offered minimum salary raises in their latest CBA offer to buy the votes of the majority as a select few have largely been the benefactors of the salary cap growing from $120 million in to nearly $200 million in 2020.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had the largest quarterback salary cap hit in 2019 at 16.3 percent. In 2011, Mark Sanchez, with the Jets at the time, had the largest salary cap hit at 14.4 percent.
The average of the top ten quarterback salary cap hits has risen by the same two percent over the same period. When will NFL players say enough is enough and that quarterbacks are being paid too much.
In 2011, the minimum salary was $375,000 or 0.31 percent of the $120 million salary cap. In 2019, the minimum salary increased to $495,000 but as a percent of the salary cap fell to 0.26 percent.
No Dallas Cowboys player will publicly criticize Dak Prescott for wanting to get paid. But the smart players will understand that every dollar Dak takes above $30 million is depth on the roster evaporating.
No Super Bowl winning player has had a salary cap hit higher than the 13.1 percent amount quarterback Steve Young had in 1994, the first year of the salary cap. If the rumors are true, Dak Prescott is seeking a contract that would pay him more than 17 percent of the salary cap.
As a fan of the Cowboys, would you say that the team is being reasonable and fair? Let’s hope when they slap the franchise tag on Dak that they come to their senses and use the non-exclusive tag.