What’s A Franchise Tag?
In the National Football League (NFL), the franchise tag is a designation that a team may apply to a player scheduled to become a free agent. The tag binds the player to the team for one year if certain conditions are met. Each team only has one franchise tag (of either exclusive or non-exclusive forms) and one transition tag and that the transition tag can be used if a team does not use a franchise tag… however, Article 10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2011 stipulates that, in the Final League Year, teams are allowed to use both the franchise tag and transition tag for the 2020 season.
2019 Dallas Cowboys Season
At the start of the season, the Dallas Cowboys had seven players that needed to be signed to long term contracts to keep them in place. Running back Ezekiel Elliot, quarterback Dak Prescott and wide out Amari Cooper would be the team’s most prized players still playing on rookie contracts from years past. Running back Zeke Elliot held out during the pre-season with a contract dispute. Prior to the start of the regular, he received his 6 year $90 million ($50 million guaranteed) contract which made him the highest paid running back in the league. The season was filled with Dak’s contract extension talks. During the first six games, everyone knew that Prescott would break the bank. Then the Cowboys started to slide, eventually losing the NFC East to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys finished 8-8 in the NFC East missing the playoffs this season. This off-season Amari Cooper looked to test test free agency and the day after Dak was franchised, Amari Cooper received his extension, 5 years $100 million contract ($60 million guaranteed).
Dak Prescott’s Turn
Throughout the 2019 NFL season, Dak, for the most part; put up MVP like numbers through the air and on the ground. His numbers read as followed: 4,999 yards passing, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also racked up 277 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns on the ground. His quarterback rating (QBR) was 99.7. On any other team in any other division, he would’ve signed his contract by now. Let’s face it, Jerry Jones is always looking for the next big thing. Dak’s numbers are better than Tony Romo’s, Troy Aikman’s and Quincy Carter’s during their first 4 years. Prescott has more wins than any quarterback in the last four seasons, but he’s listed in the bottom 25% of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks with more wins. At the time of this article Dak’s franchise tag will earn him $33 million dollars for the 2020 NFL season. He turned down a seven year $32 million dollar deal. July 15, 2020, will be the telltale for all players with a franchise tag looking to get a long term deal in place from their respected teams. I see Dak becoming the highest paid quarterback, heading into the 2020 season… unless Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes seeks a new deal, which will without a doubt break the bank.