What Dak Prescott’s contract restructure means for Cowboys’ offseason

Dak Prescott, Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott, Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are currently struggling with cap space for 2022. Ranking third-worst in the NFL, America’s Team is currently more than $21 million over the cap. But, as teams always do, Jerry Jones and company are making and will make moves to get the Cowboys back at even. Making some changes to quarterback Dak Prescott’s lofty contract is one of them.

As you likely remember, Prescott signed a 4-year, $160 million contract with the Cowboys last year. He is set to earn $20 million for 2022, but the organization is going to restructure it to help with their lack of cap space. Sources told CowboysSI.com that this maneuver will get America’s Team about $16 million in cap relief. That’s huge considering the Cowboys have 23 players set to hit free agency, including big names like Randy Gregory and Michael Gallup.

So, what are they doing? If you take a deeper look at Prescott’s contract, he is strangely set to earn $0 in the final “void” year of his contract when he is 33 years old in 2026. Weird, right? Not anymore. This was all planned ahead of time as a way for Jones and his crew to handle future cap issues.

The front office is essentially moving some of this money to that final year in order to free up money for 2022. Prescott will still get the money; he will just get it at a later time.

Cowboys are restructuring Dak Prescott’s $140 million contract to free up cap space for 2022

I guess those guys upstairs do know what they’re doing… sometimes. This bookkeeping trick is incredibly common and it requires no negotiation nor approval from Prescott. It’s just one of many ways that teams magically get to even when they start the offseason with negative cap space.

Of course, the hope is that the QB1 is still playing (and playing well) in 2026 and will be earning the money that has been moved to that future year. But that’s a conversation for much further down the road.

Right now, the important thing is that the Cowboys have found a way to free up some much needed money to help secure some of their free agents. This doesn’t entirely resolve their financial challenges, but it does help give a boost to where the team is currently at.