What Jared Goff’s $53 Million Contract Means for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys

Dak Prescott's price keeps going up. The Lions gave Jared Goff $53 million per year on Monday. Can Dak get to $60 million on his next deal?

The clock keeps ticking on Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

Having failed to extend contract-year quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys had to watch as the Detroit Lions got ahead of the QB market on Monday by giving Jared Goff a four-year, $212 million contract.

Jared Goff’s New Contract Highlights Cowboys’ Inaction With Dak Prescott

While we’re still waiting on the complete details and structure of Goff’s new deal, his $53 million average annual value (AAV) makes him the NFL’s second-highest-paid quarterback behind the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow.

Burrow sits at $55 million per year. Given how much leverage Prescott holds in negotiations, he should become the NFL‘s first $60 million quarterback.

Will Prescott land his next contract from the Cowboys? Or he will reach free agency in 2025?

“I’m not going to say I fear being here or not. I don’t fear either situation, to be candid with you,” Prescott said in April while discussing the possibility of hitting the open market.

“I love this game, love to play, and love to better myself as a player and my teammates around me. Right now, it’s with the Dallas Cowboys. It’s where I want to be, and that’s where I am, and that’s the focus. And after the season, we’ll see where we’re at and if the future holds that. And if not, we’ll go from there.”

Prescott’s $55.455 million cap charge in 2024 would be the largest in NFL history, blowing past the previous record held by then-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’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 no-franchise tag and no-trade clauses in his existing contract. The structure of his deal would make him difficult to trade, 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 $53 million the Denver Broncos absorbed 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.

If the Cowboys aren’t willing to pay Prescott, other QB-needy teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders, or New York Giants could be interested next offseason.

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