The Dallas Cowboys were unable to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal before the deadline Wednesday. Prescott will play the 2020 season under the franchise tag, and both sides can renegotiate in January 2021.
The Cowboys reportedly wanted to sign Prescott to a five-year deal, while Prescott only wanted a four-year deal. Neither side would budge.
Ultimately, who is at fault here?
“You can make a case for it either way,” NFL analyst Steve Beuerlein said on The Zach Gelb Show. “The Cowboys have a strong case – I think a stronger case than Dak does. I’m a former player, and I understand as a player you have to make these difficult calls. I just think that the overall goodwill thing, really a lot of times – especially in the last 10 years – has gone by the wayside. Very few people will give anything off of what they want for what is in the best interest of everybody.”
Beuerlein, 55, played 17 years in the NFL. He knows firsthand that negotiations – and deals – have consequences.
“I got burned by it in my career,” he said. “I trusted the Carolina Panthers would take care of me in the long run, and they didn’t. I’m still bitter about that. But I still believe if they’re making a fair offer – and the guarantee is up over $100 million, which obviously is a little different than the deal that I was a part of in 1999, 2000. But I still believe there’s something to be said for taking maybe a little less than what you think you’re worth and trying to make that good positive statement. I think it makes both sides feel like it was a fair deal, and it ends up paying off in the end.” Beuerlein said that Prescott, who turns 27 later this month, is “a very talented quarterback,” but there’s two sides of the coin when it comes to his career.
“His numbers as far as statistics go speak for themselves, and he’s shown he can be a very high-level quarterback,” Beuerlein said. “He almost threw for 5,000 yards last year, which was No. 2 in the league. But you can also look at the negative side of things. After starting 3-0, they went 5-8 and his record against playoff teams was 1-6 or 1-7, and he wants to be paid with the top two or three quarterbacks in the league. I think that Dak, that’s another reason [he should have gotten a deal done]. He could have come out and said, ‘All right, on that fifth year, we’ll do it, but if I prove myself over the first four, that fifth year has got to have some bonuses.’”