Likely price of Dak Prescott's contract extension revealed and it's terrifying

Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) records a video
Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) records a video / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It seems inevitable that the Dallas Cowboys will extend Dak Prescott this offseason. They could always restructure Prescott's contract to free up over $22 million in cap space, but that would inflate his dead cap charge in 2025 to a lofty $54 million if he were to leave in free agency.

Even though the Cowboys will have to back up the brinks truck to extend Prescott, it's the most financially-sound decision at their disposal. As the next quarterback in line for a new deal, Prescott will likely become the NFL's highest-paid gunslinger.

Making $55 million per year, the Bengals' Joe Burrow is currently the richest QB. While it seems logical to just give Prescott $56 million per year and call it a day, Prescott's extension must align with the 2024 salary cap, which just exploded to $255.4 million per team.

With that news, the particulars of Dak's new deal were revealed. Spotrac's co-founder Michael Ginnitti crunched the numbers and found the Cowboys must pay Prescott $62.4 million per year for the contract to fall under the all-important "top of the market" designation.

Likely price of Dak Prescott's contract extension with Cowboys revealed

Assuming Prescott's pushes for top of the market money, $62.4 million per year should be the final price when negotiations are over. That's a terrifying number, but the Joneses have only themselves to blame for it after they dragged out his initial negotiation over two offseasons.

Had Prescott been extended before the 2020 season, when he played on a $31.4 million franchise tag, he would've been up for a new deal last year. A handful of other top QBs, including Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and the aforementioned Burrow, all inked contracts last summer worth more than $50 million annually.

Prescott could've been part of that grouping had the Joneses played their cards right. Now, Prescott is coming off the best statistical season of his career that culminated in a second-place finish in MVP voting.

Not only that, but Dak's current contract contains clauses of the no-trade and no-tag variety, so the Cowboys have less than zero leverage. In other words, the wild card loss to the Packers bears no weight in the conversation. Neither does the fact that Prescott likely isn't worth $62.4 million annually.

Much like Prescott's current deal, he won't be the NFL's highest-paid quarterback for long. Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Jared Goff, C.J. Stroud, Jordan Love and Brock Purdy are all up for extensions soon enough.

Still, the idea of paying Dak over $60 million per year is a frightening thought given the Cowboys lack of playoff success with him under center.

More Cowboys analysis