Dallas Cowboys

How does mega deal for Eagles QB Carson Wentz impact Dak Prescott negotiations?

The waiting game on contract negotiations between the Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott has now potentially cost the team more money.

The Eagles announced a four-year, $128 contract extension for quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday on a deal that includes a league-record $107 million in guaranteed money.

Wentz, who has two years remaining on his contract, now has a six-year deal, with a base value of $154.7 million.

The new money averages out to $32 million annually, which is what matters most in relation to Prescott and his negotiations with the Cowboys.

And that is without even considering the whopping guaranteed money.

Prescott is heading into the final year of his rookie deal that will pay him $2.025 million.

If the Cowboys don’t sign him to an extension they will likely have to franchise him after the season at $31 million and that was before Wentz got his deal.

So the longer the Cowboys wait, the higher the money is going to go.

Consider that before the end of the 2018 season, the 2020 franchise tag was roughly $28 million for quarterbacks.

That was before Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers got deals of $35, $34 and $33.5 million annually, respectively, to drive up the market.

The franchise tag is the average of the top five salaries at the position. Behind Wilson, Roethlisberger and Rodgers are Atlanta’s Matt Ryan at $30 million, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins at $28 million and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garrapolo at $27.5 million.

Of course, that was before Wentz got paid.

Remember, Wentz was drafted second overall in 2016, the same year Prescott went in the fourth round to the Cowboys. While Wentz has had injuries issues, Prescott has started every game over the last three years, leading the Cowboys to two NFC East titles, including three wins in five head-to-head starts against Wentz.

The Wentz deal doesn’t necessarily mean more money for Prescott but it certainly puts him in the same ballpark and reinforces the market for him of at least $30 million annually.

With possible deals up next for Rams quarterback Jared Goff, taken first overall in 2016, and rising stars like Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Houston’s Deshaun Watson, the money is going to continue to rise for Prescott if the Cowboys continue to wait.

The two sides have traded contract proposals.

The Cowboys say they are in no rush to get a deal done, but vice president Stephen Jones has said he would like to get Prescott under contract before the start of the season.

Prescott, who is more comfortable and confident than ever in OTAs and seemingly ready to have the best season of his career, is not pressed.

Generational money is coming sooner or later.

The longer the Cowboys wait, the more it likely will be.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.