Dak Prescott Makes the Cowboys Pay For Their Own Stupidity

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a contract on Monday and it is massive. Prescott's new, four-year deal can be worth up to $164 million and includes a $66 million signing bonus and $75 million due in the first year. The Cowboys have bungled Prescott's contract situation every step of the way since 2019 and now they'll pay for it, with the biggest single-year bill in NFL history.

Way back in the summer of 2019, the Cowboys had the chance to extend Prescott and instead waited and allowed contract talks to leak into the season. He had a really good year and his price increased. In early September of 2019, Dallas gave running back Ezekiel Elliott a massive extension, somehow prioritizing that over the team's franchise quarterback. As Dak's price continued to go up, Jerry Jones & Co. waited. And waited. And waited.

The Cowboys slapped the franchise tag on Prescott early in the 2020 offseason. Last March I wrote they should just bite the bullet and pay him what he was worth. At the time that was likely to be in the range of $33 million to $35 million a year. They, instead, continued to wait. And wait. And wait. In that time, quarterback contract prices soared through the roof, and Patrick Mahomes annihilated whatever ceiling remained with his $500 million deal.

Now, almost a year after I wrote that they should pay Prescott, his new deal will average $42 million over the first three seasons of the deal. That's about $10 million more a year than they could have gotten him for in March of 2020.

Will the Cowboys be upset with this contract? Probably. That's a lot of money they can't use to fill the other holes on their roster. But Prescott is among the eight best quarterbacks on the planet. When you have one of those guys, you absolutely have to pay him. The consequences of not doing so are too great.

During his five year NFL career, Prescott has completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 17,634 yards, with 106 touchdowns, 40 interceptions and an average of 7.7 yards per attempt. He's compiled a career passer rating of 97.3. If you take out his subpar 2017 season -- which currently looks like an aberration -- he's completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 7.93 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 101.2.

Those numbers are damn near elite.

Good for Prescott for getting his money. He made the Cowboys pay for jerking him around for two years. The deal also includes no-trade and no-tag clauses so he can determine his own future. It's far more than he could have expected of a deal in 2019, or even last March.