The team offered the quarterback another franchise tag worth $37.69 million for a year.
While that’s a huge amount, Prescott was seeking a deal that would put him closer to what Patrick Mahomes will get.
Before the 2020 season, the Kansas City Chiefs play-caller signed a 10-year, $450 million extension.
That’s the richest contract in sports and it pegs his annual average to $45 million annually starting the 2022 season.
Initially, the Cowboys offered a multi-year deal that averaged $35 million annually.
However, Prescott’s agent Todd France correctly predicted that the quarterback market would breach $40 million.
Finally, both parties agreed to meet in the middle and settle with a four-year, $160 million deal.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: “People find ways to doubt me. I think it’s fun.
“I’m ready.” pic.twitter.com/NqxpWbwJg9
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) September 3, 2021
Prescott’s new contract comes with a no-tag and a no-trade clause.
He is set to receive $96 million in guaranteed money which includes his $66 million signing bonus plus his base salaries for both 2021 and 2022.
Meanwhile, he will also get his 2023 base salary of $31 million by the fifth league day of the 2022 season.
He can also get a $5 million roster bonus by the fifth league day of the 2024 season.
The Cowboys will be giving their starting quarterback the big bucks.
Therefore, Prescott must do his part in making them a legitimate contender.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2021
Unlike the already proven Mahomes, he does not have buffer years before his deal starts to take effect.
Bringing the Cowboys to the Super Bowl will be the only result that will make this contract pay off.
Lucky for Dallas, he was on his way to doing that if not for the injury that cut his 2020 season short.
Dak Must Give The Cowboys Their Money’s Worth
He was lighting up the league last season with games of 450, 472, and 502 passing yards.
But now that he’s back, the Cowboys should have a better claim over that NFC East title.
The Washington Football Team are the defending champions and their defense remains one of the league’s best.
But can Ryan Fitzpatrick lead them to the postseason?
We wrote today on Bucs and Cowboys receivers, and with their depth and 17th game on the schedule, both have a shot at having three 1,000-yard receivers. That's happened only five times in NFL history, and none since 2008. (mini-thread)
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 7, 2021
It would be a failure if they don’t reach the playoffs given their firepower.
On the other hand, their young but talented defense must disrupt their opponents as well.
Rookie LB Micah Parsons is not overwhelmed by everything the Cowboys are putting on his plate: “I got 24 hours in a day, I think I have plenty of time to do what I’m paid to do.” pic.twitter.com/GelFPMzQ3B
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 2, 2021
If they can’t manifest significant improvements on both ends, Prescott’s cap hit will make it tougher for them to make necessary transactions.
His cap count jumps from $22.2 million this year to $33.2 million in 2022, $44.2 million in 2023, and $47.2 million in 2024.
A handful of their starters will become free agents over those years.
That said, their leverage to offer rightful contracts dwindles due to Prescott’s contract.
They can restructure his deal to convert his base salary into a signing bonus, but that may give them enough cap to sign just one viable player.
The Cowboys converted $6.25M of QB Dak Precott's base salary into a signing bonus, creating $5M in cap space.
The Titans converted $14M of WR Julio Jones' salary into a signing bonus, creating $11.2M in cap space (adding two void years as well).
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 7, 2021
But if the Cowboys become winners under Prescott’s tenure, there’s motivation to re-sign with the franchise.
Yes, they can get a bigger contract elsewhere, but there will be no guarantees for success.