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Cowboys would put exclusive franchise tag on Prescott

Dak Prescott will be a Dallas Cowboy next season; that's not up for debate. What is is under what terms?

While Prescott and the Cowboys continue to work on a long-term extension for the impending free-agent quarterback, Dallas has a backup plan.

The Cowboys intend to place the exclusive franchise tag on Prescott if the sides cannot reach a long-term deal by March 12, the end of the tag window, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday.

While Dallas had always planned to place the franchise tag on Prescott, the exclusive tag would sweeten the pot for the QB.

Whereas the non-exclusive franchise tag, the more commonly used tender, is worth no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position over the last five years, the exclusive tag is worth the average of the top five salaries for *the current year*. That player also cannot negotiate with other teams.

The exclusive tag for quarterbacks this season is estimated to be around $33 million, Rapoport reported, about $6 million more than the non-exclusive tag.

If Prescott were to be slapped with the exclusive tag by mid-March, his cap value would rank third among quarterbacks in 2020 behind Jared Goff ($36 million) and Ben Roethlisberger ($33.5 million), per Over The Cap.

The exclusive tag would be quite a pay raise for the Cowboys signal-caller, who earned $2.7 million total over the course of his four-year rookie deal. But Prescott and Dallas don't want to settle for just a pay raise. The stability of a long-term deal, while elusive for the last two offseasons, would be far more preferable.

On the other side of the ball, Rapoport reported the Cowboys met with Byron Jones' representation and indicated they are expected to let the cornerback hit free agency.

"This is really not a surprise," Rapoport said. "The Cowboys like to keep all of their players. They just have a lot of other financial responsibilities here. Dak is one. Amari Cooper is another. Byron Jones is expected to be a highly paid corner and could end up as the highest-paid corner in the NFL when it's all said and done."

Jones, a former first-round pick and an unrestricted free agent to be, is the eighth-best free agent and top corner available on's list of the top 101 free agents.

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