The Dallas Cowboys are set on retaining pending free agent quarterback Dak Prescott, but the sides haven’t negotiated since September and still won’t for at least a few more days.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Monday that there is “absolutely not” a scenario in which the Cowboys would move on from Prescott in 2020.
“I mean, Dak’s our quarterback,” Jones said. “He’s our quarterback for the future, and we have nothing but the greatest respect for him. He’s a competitor. He’s won a lot of football games for us.”
However, Jones also said the sides have not discussed contract details since being unable to complete a long-term extension in September.
“It just kind of stopped. We kind of left it where it was,” he said. “I wouldn’t say there was anything acrimonious. They felt they were done where they were. We felt like we were kind of where we were, and we never really got going again.”
Negotiations with Prescott — and with other pending free agents such as wide receiver Amari Cooper — will not begin until clarity emerges on collective bargaining talks, Jones said.
If a new CBA is approved by the players this week, several changes would take place in 2020, beginning when the new league year and free agency officially open on March 18. If a new CBA is not approved, 2020 would take on different rules as the final year of the previous CBA, including each team being able to use both the franchise tag and transition tag. A decision about the CBA is expected within the next few days.
“We are really wanting to see where the CBA is,” Jones said. “The way I look at these contracts, the two we are talking about (Prescott and Cooper), when things get momentum, they can happen in 24 hours.”
Jones said the team hopes to reach a deal with Prescott without using the franchise tag, but absent a deal, the tag would be used before the March 12 deadline.
He sidestepped questions about whether the Cowboys would use the exclusive franchise tag — which comes with a $33 million salary and bars any negotiations with other teams — or the non-exclusive tag. The latter carries a $27 million salary and allows another team to sign Prescott to an offer sheet, with the Cowboys either choosing to match the offer or receive two first-round picks.
Prescott, 26, posted career highs with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes last season.
—Field Level Media