No matter what other moves the Dallas Cowboys decide to make in their quest to improve from 8-8 to a Super Bowl contender, there remains the question of quarterback Dak Prescott and his lack of a long-term contract with the team.
Speaking on Tuesday to reporters in Mobile, Ala., the site of the Senior Bowl, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that a new deal for his prized passer is the club's "No. 1 priority" this offseason.
"It's been urgent for us," Jones said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "We certainly want to get that done. That's our No. 1 priority as we go into the offseason is to ... hopefully find some resolution to it and get that done."
The two-time Pro Bowler Prescott made $2.12 million in the 2019 season, working on the final season of his rookie contract. After being unable to agree on a long-term deal last summer, the 26-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career, throwing for a career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdown passes in leading the Cowboys' top-ranked offense (431.5 total yards per game).
A franchise tag for 2020 would cost the Cowboys more than $33 million, with the salary going past $40 million in 2021 on a potential second franchise tag if no agreement is reached, according to an NFL.com report in the fall.
Jones added that the team's second-biggest priority was to re-up the contract for wide receiver Amari Cooper, who along with Prescott could become free agents in unsigned by March, which is unexpected. Cooper, 25, has flourished in Dallas upon arrival after a midseason trade from Oakland last season, leading the Cowboys in catches (79), yards (1,189) and TD receptions (8) in 2019.
Jones had commented during the regular season that he expected to work out a deal with the "flawless" Prescott at some point, but was also open about the Cowboys' hopes to save some money on Prescott's deal in order to use it on other players.
Among others in need of extensions in the final year of their respective rookie contracts are cornerback Byron Jones and defensive tackle Maliek Collins. Veterans Robert Quinn (defensive end) and Randall Cobb (receiver) will also be free agents in March.
--Field Level Media