One of the NFL offseason’s biggest stories centers on the status of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Will he or will he not come to terms with the Cowboys on a long-term deal?
It turns out that the two sides aren’t any closer to a contract than they were in the fall. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told reporters at the NFL draft scouting combine in Indianapolis on Monday that the Cowboys haven’t had talks with Prescott’s agent Todd France since September.
At that point, Prescott reportedly turned down a deal worth $33 million annually.
Stephen Jones: ‘We’re optimistic’
“We’ve been wanting to see how this labor agreement is going to go,” Jones told reporters. “Obviously makes a big difference on a contract this big, but obviously we’re optimistic, and our goal is to get it done before you have to tag, the last day to tag.”
The NFL sent a proposal on a new collective bargaining agreement to the NFLPA last week. A new CBA will set the financial terms of the NFL for the next decade, and the parameters of a deal are still up in the air.
The NFLPA plans to address the proposal this week and vote to either ratify or reject the proposed CBA.
Cowboys hope to avoid using franchise tag
Prescott enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. The Cowboys are expected to use the franchise tag to secure his services if the two sides don’t reach a long-term agreement. The window to apply the franchise tag has been pushed back to Feb. 27 through March 12 as labor talks continue. Jones wants a deal done before that deadline.
Jones said that the Cowboys may engage in talks with Prescott’s representation this week with the hopes of figuring out a long-term deal.
“I’m not going to get into any of the details of the contract and franchising and that type of thing,” Jones said. “Our goal is to get it done with Dak. I know he wants to be here. We want him to be here long-term and he’s our guy. We’ve got nothing but the highest regards for him and we want to get the deal done.”
Prescott just finished his fourth season in the league, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Cowboys finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Amari Cooper update
The Cowboys also are facing a decision with pending free-agent wide receiver Amari Cooper. Jones told reporters Monday that the Cowboys spoke with his agent at the Super Bowl, but were waiting on the CBA to play out before engaging in detailed negotiations.
If a new CBA isn’t agreed upon, teams will be allowed to use the franchise and transition tag on different players. If a new CBA is in place for the new league year starting March 18, then teams will only be permitted to use the franchise tag.
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