The Dallas Cowboys have signed their star quarterback Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160m deal, including a record $126m guaranteed, multiple sources reported on Monday.
The deal, which finally was struck two years after negotiations began, comes a day before a deadline to put the franchise tag on Prescott for a second straight year at a salary cap charge of $37.7m.
Prescott played on a $31.4m franchise tag in 2020 before his season ended with a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Week 5. He was on track for a career season until the gruesome injury with 1,690 passing yards in the first four games, putting him on pace to become the first NFL quarterback to throw for more than 6,000 in a season.
“The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms on a new contract with quarterback Dak Prescott on Monday,” the Cowboys said in a statement. “Further information and details will be released at a formal press announcement on Wednesday.”
Prescott was not immediately available for comment, but a photo of the quarterback celebrating the contract with his brother, Tad, quickly went viral on Monday evening.
“When your little brother gets the call,” Tad Prescott said on Twitter. “Let’s go @dak time to win the @dallascowboys a Super Bowl.”
If the agreement is long term, it figures to be the richest contract in franchise history. Owner Jerry Jones has signed three players to deals of at least $100m: former quarterback Tony Romo, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and receiver Amari Cooper.
ESPN and NFL.com reported the first three years of the contract average $42m per year – including an NFL-record $75 for year one – and the entire deal could be worth up to $164m. The terms include a $66m signing bonus.
Before the injury, the 27-year-old Prescott had started every game since the beginning of his rookie year after replacing an injured Romo during the 2016 preseason.
Prescott, drafted by Dallas out of Mississippi State in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft, won the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award while leading the Cowboys to the No 1 seed in the NFC and two years later won his first playoff game while reaching his second Pro Bowl.
Negotiations on a new contract started the following offseason, when Prescott was going into the final year of a four-year contract that paid him a total of about 4m as a fourth-round pick. That included $2m in the final season.
Prescott got a 1,500% raise with his first franchise tag, which locked in another increase for a second tag despite the salary cap going down because of the NFL’s revenue dip in the pandemic.
With a new contract, the Cowboys should get salary cap relief they’re expected to need with the cap falling from $198 million to a possibility of as low as $180 million. The cap has risen about $10 million per season for most of the past decade.