The two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal, otherwise one cannot be done until after this season. News of Prescott’s intention to sign the tender first broke on Sunday.
The quarterback appeared to make reference to the signing with an Instagram post later Monday.
Prescott’s decision eliminates the worst-case scenario for the team — the quarterback missing training camp and signing right before the season-opener, a strategy Prescott clearly never intended to pursue as he will now be required to attend training camp.
The fact Prescott will be one of the highest-paid players in the NFL — and the potential his franchise tag increases by a mandatory 20% next season to $37.7 million with a flat or lower cap in 2021 — is the incentive for the Cowboys to secure a long-term deal before July 15.
Said one source of the pressure on the Cowboys: “Their problem is the second year because this salary cap is going to crash unless there’s an intermediate deal. They would have to gut their team to keep him then. So there’s even more incentive for the Cowboys to do a long-term deal with Dak because of the coronavirus and where the cap might be next year.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have repeatedly expressed their belief that Prescott is the team’s quarterback of the future and capable of leading the franchise back to a Super Bowl.
Prescott, who turns 27 on July 29, has said on multiple occasions that he never wanted to leave the Cowboys.