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Dak Prescott, Cowboys don't agree to long-term deal before deadline

Rayne Dakota Prescott will bet on himself for another season.

The Dallas Cowboys and the quarterback couldn't agree on a long-term deal before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise-tagged players to land multi-year contracts, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

Prescott was involved at the very last minute in an effort to secure a long-term contract, and wanted to get one done, but it was just too late, NFL Nework's Jane Slater reported, per a source informed. The deal on the table was for between $33-35 million annually with $110 million guaranteed and $70 million owed over the first two years and included a $50 million signing bonus, Slater added.

With the deadline passed, Prescott will play 2020 on the $31.4 million franchise tag. Sides cannot negotiate a multi-year deal until after the season. The quarterback signed the tender last month.

After playing his first four years for just over $4 million, the pay bump in 2020 is significant but wasn't the type of long-term security both sides sought.

Slater reported that Prescott's camp and Dallas weren't in contact in recent days leading up to the franchise-tag deadline, until the very last minute.

For weeks, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport has reported that the disagreement between Prescott and the Cowboys wasn't about contract figures, but rather length. The Cowboys wanted a fifth year on the deal. Prescott wanted it to be a four-year pact in order to hit the market again sooner.

Reports throughout the offseason described both sides as entrenched firmly in their positions. Dallas noted that pretty much all of their big-name players have signed for five or more years, most recently with DeMarcus Lawrence inking a five-year extension. Prescott, meanwhile, maintained that extensions for the likes of Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff were only four years in length.

Neither side blinked.

Thus, Prescott will play under the one-year tender. Expect to do this dance again next year.

If the Cowboys decide to franchise tag Prescott again in 2021, he'd make approximately $37.7 million. If that comes to pass, Prescott would be looking at $69.1 million for two years.

For four years, the fourth-round pick was the snap-for-snap biggest bargain in the NFL. Now he's willing to play out the tag-game and wait for his ultimate big payday.

Prescott becomes just the third franchise-tagged quarterback to play out the season on the tender joining Drew Brees (2005 with San Diego) and Kirk Cousins (2016 and 2017 with Washington). Both of those players ultimately signed elsewhere.

The Cowboys have a 40-24 win-loss record with Prescott as the starter for the past four years. In that time, the signal-caller has compiled a 65.8 completion percentage, 246.5 passing yards per game, 97 pass TDs, 36 INTs, and a 97.0 passer rating.

In 2019, Prescott averaged 306.4 passing YPG, 30 passing TDs, 11 INTs, and a 99.7 passer rating. His 4,902 passing yards were second-most in Cowboys history. Dak also earned career-bests in passing yards per attempt (8.2), yards (4,902) and pass TDs (30) last season. The Cowboys averaged 431.5 total YPG in 2019 (first in NFL).

Prescott is the sixth player (eight occurrences) the Cowboys used a franchise tag on since 1993 (Anthony Spencer, DeMarcus Lawrence twice). Dallas worked out a long-term deal in just three of those instances (DeMarcus Lawrence, Dez Bryant and Ken Hamlin).

Not taking the five-year deal Dallas offered, Prescott is betting on another big season in a Cowboys offense ripe with playmakers. There is always a risk of regression or injury, but the QB sees the upside to playing the tag-game before possibly hitting the open market.

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