Dak Prescott Extension: Cowboys QB Likely To Reach 2025 Free Agency

Dak Prescott is waiting for a Cowboys extension that may never come. Here's what the lack of a deal means for Prescott and Dallas this season and beyond.

The Dallas Cowboys were fully expected to work out an extension with quarterback Dak Prescott this offseason that would lock in the veteran signal-caller as the club’s starter for years to come. After all, the Cowboys wouldn’t really carry Prescott with a $55+ million cap charge in 2024, would they?

It appears that they will, however. Speaking at the NFL Owners Meetings on Tuesday, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones offered an update on Prescott’s contract, suggesting that the 30-year-old could play for another team in 2025.

Cowboys Unlikely To Extend Dak Prescott This Year

By restructuring Prescott’s contract earlier this week, Dallas cleared $4 million in cap space. The Cowboys converted his $5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus, spreading the cap hits through 2028 via additional void years.

But that transaction barely made a dent in Prescott’s 2024 cap number, which went from $59.455 million to $55.455 million.

A new contract, with a significant signing bonus that could be prorated over the life of the deal, would create even more cap space for the Cowboys, whose financial limitations prevented them from doing anything of note during free agency.

However, a Prescott extension doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported today that Dallas hasn’t made any offers to Prescott, while a source said the two sides “have a mutual understanding of his contract situation.”

“We are where we are. We have our contract,” Jones said Tuesday, seemingly indicating that the Cowboys and Prescott will not work out a new deal. “We’re locked and loaded for this year, and we can see as we move along how we are thinking.”

Prescott’s $55.455 million cap charge would be the largest in NFL history, blowing past the previous record held by Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill in 2022 ($38.6 million). Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson currently has a $63.977 million cap figure for 2024, but the Browns are expected to restructure his contract and lower his number before next season begins.

Prescott Expected To Hit 2025 Free Agent Market

Prescott’s outlandish 2024 cap charge gives him immense leverage in negotiations because the Cowboys are desperate for cap space. But that’s not the only card he’s holding.

Prescott also has a no-franchise tag and a no-trade clause in his existing contract. His existing contract would make it difficult to trade him, anyway, while a 2025 franchise tag would require an untenable 20% raise over his $55+ million cap number.

Plus, if the Cowboys don’t extend Prescott, they’ll be left with $40.46 million in dead money in 2025. That would be the second-most dead money in NFL history, trailing only the 2025 dead money the Denver Broncos will absorb after releasing Russell Wilson this offseason.

These advantages and Prescott’s dominant 2023 campaign — when he led the league with 36 passing TDs and finished second in QBR — give him every right to reset the quarterback market on his next contract. That would mean eclipsing the $55 million average annual value Joe Burrow received on his extension with the Cincinnati Bengals.

“As you address a player like Dak, you take away from his supporting cast,” Jones said this week. “That’s not a sales job. Everybody realizes, if you get the bucks, someone else who can help you win doesn’t. That’s factual.”

Other quarterbacks like the Green Bay Packers’ Jordan Love, the Detroit Lions’ Jared Goff, and the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa are also pending 2025 free agents. But those signal-callers are expected to land extensions this year, meaning Prescott will be the clear No. 1 QB on the open market.

Meanwhile, the failure to extend Prescott sets up a fascinating 2024 season in Dallas. Prescott, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, and head coach Mike McCarthy are all entering the final years of their contracts. If the Cowboys add a first-round QB to the mix in April, they might be the most interesting team in the league next season.

KEEP READING: Who Will Be the Cowboys’ Starting RB in 2024?

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