With the move, the Cowboys have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract. If no deal is reached, Prescott will have to play the 2020 season on the tag, and the sides can do the same dance next offseason.
With the exclusive tag, Prescott is not permitted to talk to other teams. He is the sixth quarterback ever to receive the exclusive tag, and Kirk Cousins with the Washington Redskins in 2017 is the only quarterback who did not reach a long-term deal and played the full season under the tag.
The exclusive franchise tag is expected to be worth between $30 million and $33 million, which will chew into the team’s roughly $79 million in salary-cap space entering free agency.
This is the fourth time the Cowboys have used the franchise designation since 2014, but it’s the first time they have used it on a quarterback.
In 2015, the Cowboys used the tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant, but they were ultimately able to sign him to a five-year, $70 million deal before the July 15 deadline. They placed the tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence in 2018 and 2019 before signing the Pro Bowler to a five-year, $105 million deal in April 2019.
Dallas had hoped to sign Prescott to an extension last offseason that would have guaranteed him nine figures, but the quarterback bet on himself, willing to play for $2 million in 2019.
The Cowboys thought they were closing in on a deal in September, but talks paused as Prescott’s sterling play led the team to a 3-0 start. Discussions did not pick up again in earnest until this offseason.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Todd Archer