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Could 2020 be Dak Prescott's final season with the Cowboys? It wouldn't be unprecedented

The Dallas Cowboys have slapped the franchise tag on Dak Prescott, which may not bode well for his 2021 status on the team.
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The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension or Prescott will have to play the 2020 season on the franchise tag – there's nothing stopping Prescott from holding out in protest into the season, but he has given no hint of that. If Jerry Jones can't get a deal done by mid-July, that could mean the 2020 season is Prescott's last.

Why?

Thanks to the NFL Research Twitter site for this nugget: Prescott is the eighth quarterback to be designated a franchise player since 1993. Only two of the previous seven actually played a season under the tag. They were Drew Brees in 2005 with the San Diego Chargers and Kirk Cousins in 2017 with the Washington Redskins (technically, Cousins also played 2016 under the tag with Washington but for our purposes we will use 2017).

Both Brees and Cousins signed deals with new teams the following seasons: Brees with the New Orleans Saints and Cousins with the Minnesota Vikings. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones has Prescott's long-term extension will "ultimately get done." Perhaps Prescott's camp is waiting for Deshaun Watson and/or Patrick Mahomes to reset the market.

Prescott is a +1500 fifth-favorite on the moneyline odds at William Hill sportsbook to win NFL MVP. His season betting projections are likely to be around 4,350 yards and 27.5 TD passes. Last year, he had career-highs of 4,902 yards and 30 TDs.

This is the eighth time the Cowboys have used the franchise tag (twice on two players), and here are the seven others: defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (2018 & '19), receiver Dez Bryant (2015), linebacker end Anthony Spencer (2012 & '13), safety Ken Hamlin (2008) and offensive tackle Flozell Adams (2002).

Lawrence got his big-money deal last April. Bryant, Hamlin and Adams also got long-term extensions. Spencer did not as he played that second year on the tag, suffered a major injury in 2013 and signed a one-year deal before the 2014 campaign. That would be his final regular season in the NFL. 

Dallas opens the 2020 season on Sunday night, Sept. 13, as a short favorite on the NFL odds at the L.A. Rams. 

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SportsLine Staff
SportsLine Staff