With Prescott having completed his rookie deal and with the Cowboys facing the question of whether to sign him to a new contract or to apply the franchise tag, Prescott declined to commit that he’ll show up for offseason workouts if the team chooses to tag him.
“We’ll get to that when we get to that,” Prescott said during an appearance in Miami, via the Dallas Morning News. “I look forward to talking to my agents and when that [tag] comes to play, the direction that we’ll go. Until that’s a reality, I won’t worry about it.”
But it’s clear that he’s planning to stay away if the team applies the tag. Asked whether he plans to spend much time in Dallas in the coming weeks and months, Prescott said no.
“Report that,” Prescott added. “Be sure to report that.”
Prescott admitted that he’s “a little disappointed” a deal hasn’t been done, but he can’t be disappointed by the leverage he now has. If they don’t sign him before applying the tag, he can stay away from the offseason program, the mandatory minicamp, training camp, and the preseason while still showing up and getting every penny of his franchise tender. Good luck getting a team ready for Week One without a starting quarterback.
Also looming over this delicate situation is the question of which tender the Cowboys would apply. If they opt for the non-exclusive tag (at about $26 million), another team could try to sign Prescott, in exchange for two first-round picks. To keep that from happening, the Cowboys would have to use the exclusive tag, which currently would cost $33.4 million. Either number would become the starting point for a long-term deal.
As previously explained, the best play for the Cowboys would be to sign Prescott to a long-term deal before the tag deadline, with an average value in the range of $31 million. If that doesn’t happen, things could get very interesting for Prescott and the Cowboys.