Dak Prescott said he wanted to be a cowboy for life. The cowboys had insisted that without Prescott there was no progress. However, the negotiations lasted more than two years.
Prescott and the Cowboys signed a four-year contract valued at $ 160 million with a $ 126 million guarantee. Two people with knowledge of the contract confirmed USA TODAY Sports on Monday. People spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms had not been made public.
Prescott could make up to $ 164 million in four years, and the deal includes a no-trade and no-tag clause. Prescott could return to the negotiating table in three years. At this point he will only be 30 years old.
Teammates strived for their quarterback to achieve long-term safety.
“It’s no secret that we want Dak back,” CeeDee Lamb told USA TODAY Sports in February. “I trust that the people in the front office will definitely make the right decisions. I hope he comes back in the long run in 2021. “
With an NFL record of $ 66 million, Prescott will make $ 75 million in 2021 – a year after pitting a $ 31.4 million franchise day. He will make an average of $ 42 million a year for the first three years, the two told USA TODAY Sports. Tech-wise, the four-year void contract spans six years to give the team flexibility in logging and to keep track of Prescott’s heavy signing bonus.
Only Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who signed a 10-year extension worth $ 450 million last July, will land a contract with a higher annual salary or guarantee than Prescott. Prescott’s contract expires seven years before Mahomes.
The NFL salary cap is expected to rise with the upcoming TV contract renewal and the advent of legalized sports gaming.
The Cowboys generally announced Monday night that the deal had been closed. A more detailed press release was scheduled for Wednesday. Prescott is then expected to approach reporters.
The Cowboys designed Prescott to be 135th overall in 2016. In a matter of months, he rose from fourth string quarterback to instant starter, ousting Tony Romo as the face of the cowboys in the franchise. Prescott started 72 games in a row from 2016 through the fifth week of the 2020 season, including three playoff games.
He set a record of 42-27 in the regular season, throwing 17,634 yards and 106 touchdowns on 40 interceptions. He racked up another 24 quick touchdowns as well as his touchdown a quarter before the sudden end of his 2020 season.
Prescott had his best statistical season in 2020, averaging 371.2 passes per game, when a scheduled run went wrong and he suffered a composite fracture and dislocation of his ankle. He was carted away from the field at the AT&T Stadium in tears, an ambulance waiting to take him to a local hospital for immediate surgery. Prescott has not played since then, although he’s back on the run.
The Cowboys claimed that his recovery was premature and they were convinced of his potential. Prescott’s creation had been “nothing short of a perfect picture,” said cowboy owner Jerry Jones in January. Stephen Jones, Executive Vice President added, “This is the Dak Prescott football team.” Stephen Jones said the front office was “very committed” to finalizing the Prescott extension.
At no point since Prescott and Agent Todd France arrived at the negotiating table in February 2019 have either side publicly said they wanted out. But a deal that Jerry Jones said was “imminent” in September 2019 came to a spectacular standstill. The two sides failed to reach an agreement – or even have significant discussions – by the July 15, 2020 Franchise Day deadline. Instead, Prescott and France are betting on Prescott’s value.
“I’m a cowboy and couldn’t be happier” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports that evening. “I look forward to working with Coach McCarthy, the staff and my teammates to be the best team we can get to achieve our goal of a Super Bowl.”
The Cowboys finished McCarthy’s debut season 6-10, with Prescott topping a long list of injured starters. After Prescott’s injury, the Cowboys didn’t win for 42 days. Questions arose: could a team with so many holes raise a large sum for Prescott? Or did the breakdown in his wake overwhelmingly confirm the leadership for which he had been commended since his rookie breakout?
The Jones family has long claimed that deadlines drive business. This time, it was Tuesday’s deadline to place the franchise tag on Prescott, which spurred the long-awaited promotion. Technically, on condition of anonymity, a person with knowledge of the cowboys’ plans is expected to honor Prescott with the $ 37.68 million franchise day by Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. ET.
The mechanism allows the details of the deal to be ironed out before the pen hits the paper. But the Cowboys and Prescott reaching an agreement mean he stopped counting $ 37.68 million in the cap in a year that COVID-19 weighed on revenue, and the wage cap for the first time in one Decade could go down.
The cowboys will now have more flexibility to support their list in free hand. Monday they made their most important step.
Prescott and Cowboys, who ran Ezekiel Elliott back, expressed their hope for it in an interview with USA TODAY Sports in September. Elliott said he would fight to get his classmate to sign with the Cowboys again. Prescott agreed.
“I can’t imagine I’m not in this field with him,” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports. “We’re here together for the long term.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.