Dak Prescott holds all the cards in negotiations with Cowboys

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

You don’t have to like it, but you’re going to have to accept it. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn’t lying when he said that quarterback Dak Prescott has all the leverage in his never-ending contract negotiations with the team.

Regardless of your favorite fantasy scenario that sees Prescott leaving Dallas (and Jerry delighting some vociferous fans who want to show Dak the door), the Cowboys QB is in control of how this story ends.

The reason he holds the cards is simple. The Cowboys lacked foresight, and Dak possessed it. He possessed the foresight to see where the NFL quarterback market was headed. Prescott also had the confidence and the courage to bet on himself, to prove that his talents would be appreciated in that market. He’s won.

Dallas could have locked up their franchise quarterback long ago if they had accepted that paying a little more in year three or four would prove to save money over time. In fact, they would have saved lots of money. 

Instead, the  Joneses wanted the benefit of a full four years of a fourth-round rookie contract. They received that benefit, and now Prescott is justified in not giving another discount.

Not surprising, rumors are flying left and right that hold out the possibility that QB1 will be playing for another team this season. The latest to catch fire has Prescott switching places with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Many so-called experts (like Dan Orlovsky) on NFL talk shows love to argue that Dak doesn’t deserve “great player” money because he’s only a good player. They say that the Dallas Cowboys would be foolish to give Prescott the big money.

Almost every scenario that suggests the Cowboys parting ways with the quarterback under-emphasizes one fact. Dak Prescott has what amounts to no-trade leverage. They can’t trade him unless he signs the franchise tag. 

Russell Wilson to Dallas? Not unless Dak wants to go to Seattle. Because if he doesn’t sign the franchise tag tender, the Cowboys can’t trade him.

Letting him walk instead of giving him $40 million per year? Not unless you want to get nothing for your starter at the most valuable position on a football team.

And so it goes for virtually every scenario fans want to put forward as a way that America’s Team’s quarterback moves to another team. For any move the Cowboys might make, Prescott still ends up in the position with the most leverage.

It’s time for team management to face it. It’s time for the team’s fans to face it. Dak Prescott holds all the cards in the current contract negotiations.

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As long as Prescott’s agent Todd France negotiates in good faith, it is time to pay the quarterback in keeping with where the market is headed. A little foresight now will save the Dallas Cowboys money in the future.