It wasn't all that long ago -- 10 days from this writing, in fact -- the Dallas Cowboys were forced to use the franchise tag to keep Dak Prescott.
The decision wasn't entirely unexpected and after a volley of offers, talks went quiet just before the tag deadline, resulting in Dallas' designation of the quarterback. Things are different now, though, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who reported the Cowboys and Prescott's representation have re-engaged on long-term contract talks and would like to work out a deal.
Most contracts take some degree of time, but this one should be afforded a larger amount of it. Prescott's new deal could reset the quarterback market just before Patrick Mahomes' upcoming contract shatters our existing frame of understanding, and it's about more than just the annual salary or guaranteed compensation.
NFL Network's Jane Slater reported just before the tag deadline the sticking point on this proposed deal appears to be the duration, not the pay. Prescott's group desires a shorter, four-year deal so he can get another shot at free agency while still in his prime, per Slater.
Rapoport's Thursday morning reporting coincides with that thought, as he alluded to the contract being "about far more than average dollars per year" and reiterated the positive nature of the two sides reopening talks. If the Cowboys can finish a deal with Prescott, they'll have come out of this concerning offseason looking like winners, keeping wide receiver Amari Cooper on a five-year, $100 million deal and securing their quarterback in a similarly sized window of time. Sure, they lost Byron Jones and Robert Quinn, but not every key player can be retained.
With Prescott, you know what you're getting at this point, for the most part. There are no questions about his health, and he did more than enough to get a new contract. We'll just have to sit back and wait for the negotiations to finally reach their conclusion.