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Cousins to Prescott: Franchise tag 'can be your friend'

Kirk Cousins knows a thing or two about playing under the franchise tag, having done so in the 2016 and 2017 seasons before signing a lucrative three-year, $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Perhaps the end result is what fueled Cousins to give advice to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who received the exclusive franchise tag from the team before he could become a free agent in March. The move put Prescott on a $31.4 million salary for 2020 and prevented him from negotiating with any other teams.

Prescott, 26, and the Cowboys have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension, or he will be locked into the one-year deal and again approaching free agency in March 2021, once he signs the franchise tag.

“I think (the franchise tag) enables you to be well compensated, and deservedly so, for the upcoming season. Then, I always say the cream will rise to the top. If you’re good enough, the cream’s going to rise to the top, and you’re going to get compensated the way you want to,” Cousins told ESPN. “Sometimes it doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like, but if you deserve it, and you’ve earned it, it’s going to happen. So you’ve just got to stay the course and stay patient. Certainly in my journey, it all worked out. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.

“So my message to Dak, when I saw him midseason last year, was, ‘Hey, whatever happens, don’t be afraid of the tag. It can be your friend, and you can use it to your advantage.’”

Stephen Jones, the Cowboys executive vice president and director of player personnel, said Friday night on the Pro Football Talk PM podcast that the team would not rescind the franchise tag on Prescott, even though teams have the right to do so before they are signed. The Cowboys signed veteran Andy Dalton a week ago.

“Absolutely not,” Jones said. “Dak’s our quarterback for the future. Obviously, this hasn’t been the easiest thing. As Jerry (Jones) says, ‘As money gets bigger, deals get harder.’ Certainly, we’re talking a significant amount of money here which he so deserves.

.”.. We think the world of him. He represents our franchise in a very positive way in terms of what we want as a leader of our team. He’s just an outstanding man, and we would never rescind the franchise tag.”

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Prescott set career highs in 2019 with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes.

--Field Level Media

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