Anybody want to talk actual football? Well, it's possible that the Cowboys reluctance to get a long-term deal done with Dak Prescott could work out in Washington's favor.
Fans of the burgundy and gold know what it means when a successful quarterback gets on the franchise tag treadmill. Even in good times, it leads to sniping, some infighting and a general air of instability.
Of course Prescott and the Dallas brass will say the right things about wanting a long-term deal and wanting to be a Cowboy for life. But the truth is now Prescott is playing on a one-year deal, and because of the contractual structure and specific mechanisms of the franchise tag, it seems at least likely Prescott will play on a tag again in 2021.
Prescott is now guaranteed more than $31 million for the 2020 season. That's about 15 percent of Dallas' total salary cap, and there's nothing to guarantee he plays for the team next year.
That's a huge chunk of cash and cap space to devote to one player, but not that uncommon for the quarterback position. The reality, however, is that a long-term deal for Prescott would have saved Dallas money over time. Eventually even the biggest QB deals end up looking like bargains before they end.
How does this help Washington?
Well any instability in Dallas is good for their NFC East rivals, especially if the Cowboys don't know their long-term plan at quarterback. For the 2020 season the Dallas offense looks explosive but the team had to let top cornerback Byron Jones walk in free agency because they simply didn't have the salary cap space, and that was before Prescott locked in at $31 million for this year.
Don't fool yourself - Jerry Jones has been smart in locking up a number of the Cowboys best offensive players with contract extensions, some even on team friendly deals. But that also leaves Dallas with hardly any wiggle room and puts significant pressure on 2020 being a Super Bowl or bust season.
Instability at QB. Increased pressure.
Some teams thrive in those situations, but for nearly a decade with former coach Jason Garrett at the helm, the Cowboys didn't. Maybe new coach Mike McCarthy can change that, but he better do it quick.
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