Is Dak Prescott’s deal already a bargain for the Dallas Cowboys?

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys look like they may have gotten a deal almost exactly five months after initially being slammed by critics. As soon as word broke I immediately took to see what the average annual salary was. When I looked at the number I immediately gasped. No, I’m not talking about Dak Prescott.

I am talking about Josh Allen after seeing the Buffalo Bills give him a reported six-year contract extension worth $258 million along with a whopping $150 million guaranteed.  That contract alone gives Allen a $43 million annual average salary.

The immediate contract details won’t be known so we can only speculate over how the contract is structured.

On the surface, it looks like the Cowboys got a deal when put up against Allen’s contract yet everything is not what it appears to be. Be careful because I was initially fooled.

The Bills did what the Dallas Cowboys should have done and gotten a deal done earlier. Allen had two years and $30 million guaranteed remaining on his rookie contract. That essentially gives the Bills eight years of control with an average annual salary of $36 million a year.

The average annual salary on his extension is higher than Dak’s yet the Bills only have to account for roughly $36 million per year over the next eight years and it’s even less when you factor in how the guaranteed money is divided. That is exactly how teams can give their quarterback’s “market money” and still have enough cap space to build around them.

The downside to getting a deal done early means the Bills are banking on Allen to continue to rise even though he has only completed 60% of his passes once in his career. Dak Prescott has never been below 62.8% in his entire career.

The Dallas Cowboys paid Dak Prescott what the market dictated yet the inability to stuff future money under past deals is what will kill the team down the road. I am really starting to think the Dallas Cowboys might have to get back to the negotiating table after this season.

Attention now has to be paid to the NFC North as the Cleveland Browns have quarterback Baker Mayfield to deal with and the Baltimore Ravens have to figure out a number with former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

Teams waiting to pay their quarterbacks not only hurt their team’s ability to spread out money but I wonder which scenario hurt’s the Cowboy’s chances more of keeping Dak’s future number relatively low.

If the Browns and Ravens can give extensions now that are north of Allen’s extension number yet allows those teams to soften the blow on their salary cap, it would give the Cowboys time to see if an extension after this season would be worthy to offer.

Let’s say Jackson gets $44 million a year and Mayfield gets $45 million a year. The only quarterback watch party would be down in Arizona as Kyler Murray will be ready for an extension. The Cowboys could jump the line and offer Dak another four-year deal with an average salary of $46 million giving them seven years of control at an annual average salary of $43 million a season. Remember, $43 million is the exact amount of Josh Allen’s extension.

You would also come to the table offering $6 million dollars a year more than just a year after agreeing to $40 million a year.

It would still be more than what Mayfield and Jackson would get if they are in the ballpark of Allen’s deal in both length and compensation yet it would be far cheaper than trying in two years. Mayfield and Jackson are both in Josh Allen’s draft class and both have two years left on their current deals.

If teams wait on an extension, there exists a possibility that Dak will now be pitted against up-and-coming gunslingers along with those mentioned before. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert are two young names that will be eligible for a contract extension if the Cowboys opt to pass on an extension after this season.

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I know it feels blasphemous to even talk about a Dak Prescott extension five months after essentially being dragged through two offseason of contract talk. But if the Dallas Cowboys are ever going to get ahead of the Prescott salary, they must take their own advice and go at it again.