Dak Prescott can franchise tag his way to huge payday with Cowboys

While many Mississippi State fans may feel Dak Prescott is being undersold or even disrespected by the Dallas Cowboys, he’s actually in a position to set himself up quite nicely.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was saddled with the dreaded franchise tag by the Dallas Cowboys this week, after months of speculation about whether or not the former Mississippi State star was going to get a new deal done with the team.

After all, both Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper got their respective paydays, so how about the guy getting the ball to them?

There has been a split in Dallas fans as to whether or not Prescott was really the quarterback who could lead the franchise back to the Super Bowl. The franchise tag is essentially Dallas’s way of telling him, “OK, show us”.

The truth is, while getting the franchise tag can be limiting and give a player uncertainty about his future with a team, in Dak’s case it’s not necessarily a bad thing thanks to the Redskins, Vikings and Kirk Cousins.

Cousins was in a similar predicament while languishing in Washington, and was given the franchise tag for two consecutive seasons in 2016 and 2017.

By the time the third year rolled around, franchising Cousins again would have been too big a hit to the Redskins salary cap, so Cousins was able to now test the open market.

He struck gold with the Vikings, signing a 3-year, $84 million deal with Minnesota. He’s now signed an extension that will bring the total value of that contract to over $150 million. That paves the way for Prescott to follow a similar path with the Cowboys.

From ESPN reporter Kevin Seifert:

“If he wanted to, he could follow in the footsteps of Kirk Cousins by playing under a tag in 2020 and 2021 — earning close to $70 million in those two years — and then assume that a third tag in 2022 would be cap-prohibitive.

Assuming his performance doesn’t regress in the meantime, Prescott would be a 28-year-old unrestricted free-agent quarterback in 2022.”

Dak is certainly looking to be a much more accomplished and desirable quarterback than Cousins was when he left Washington, so it could mean a record-payday for the Cowboys signal-caller.

Jerry Jones and the Cowboys took a flyer on Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and they’ve certainly milked their money’s worth out of his rookie deal. Dak handled the baptism by fire in Dallas better than anyone could have possibly foreseen.

Playing under one-year deals can make some players feel like they are unappreciated. Chances are, Dak Prescott will look at it as an opportunity to make the Cowboys (or some other NFL team) really pay down the road.

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