Dallas Cowboys are playing a dangerous waiting game with Dak Prescott

The Cowboys lack of urgency may lose them their franchise QB, and much, much more.

The 2025 offseason is shaping up to be the Spring of Dak in the NFL. Dallas Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott hasn’t signed an extension with the team yet as he enters the final year of a four-year, $160 million contract. In addition, superstar WR CeeDee Lamb and EDGE Micah Parsons are going to be asking for (well deserved) big money contracts, deals befitting of their status in the league.

The response from Cowboys’ brass? Well, it’s been slow, to say the least. Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr., Cowboys’ VP Stephen Jones said getting a deal done for Prescott as well as the two other superstars is a top priority for the team, hoping to get it done before the season. Yet, everything about this process has been extremely lackadaisical from the Dallas front office. The sense of urgency isn’t there, and it could cost them their “all in” window.

According to OverTheCap, the Cowboys currently have a little bit over $5 million in cap space for 2024, but that number skyrockets to near the top of the league in 2025 and beyond. There’s ample enough space to get all three deals done, but the Cowboys insistence on waiting is going to come back to haunt them. Let’s use Dak and QB contracts as an example. For a QB of Dak’s caliber, a top-10 QB, you’re going to eventually reset the market every time they get paid. QBs Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson all got paid before the 2023 season, but the timing at which they got paid influenced the amount guaranteed and the annual per year number. Jackson got his extension in April, before Herbert then finally Burrow.

You can probably guess the order at which they’re contracts stack up in terms of per year averages:

With this in mind, it would be smart for the Cowboys to get ahead on a contract for Prescott, considering Jaguars’ QB Trevor Lawrence is going to get a massive extension, Lions’ QB Jared Goff is up for more money, as is Packers’ QB Jordan Love. Lawrence and Love are going to challenge for highest paid QBs in the NFL with their next deals, putting Dallas in a real precarious position with Prescott.

However, this isn’t something that the Cowboys can just throw their hands up and say “we got priced out.” Dallas has had every opportunity to pay Dak, whether it be making an extension immediately after the season or doing it now. The Cowboys have chosen to wait, being patient in a sport that requires haste when it comes to contracts. Nobody wants to be the team that has to pay their QB at the highest amount in the NFL, so the incentive is on Dallas to get a deal done before his price goes drastically up.

Yet, it just seems like Dallas doesn’t want to pay these guys. They’re a reactive team, waiting to see how the league shapes out before doling out contracts. They did it with Prescott in 2019, placing him on the franchise tag which put him at the highest cap hit in the NFL at the time. This inactivity is nothing new for Cowboys fans; the 2024 off-season has been marked by it. But their reluctance to be proactive and give Dak his contract not only could see them lose out on Prescott, but it forces them to hold off on deals for Lamb and Parsons as well.

The Lamb contract is going to be very interesting to watch, because his contemporaries in Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Brandon Aiyuk could all reset the wide receiver market. Jefferson could get the richest contract ever given to a receiver in the NFL. By not extending Dak and giving themselves some flexibility, they’re losing time to get out ahead on contracts with Lamb, who could reset the market himself—whether it be with Dallas or another team.

If the Cowboys were as “all-in” as they said they would be, a Dak extension would give them flexibility to work with in 2024, to bring in more free agents at positions of need. However, their lack of urgency could cost them their franchise QB, and leave them in the wilderness searching for a QB once again.

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