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FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is going to get paid.

It's just a matter of when.

Vice president Stephen Jones has already acknowledged that the Cowboys are in active negotiations with Prescott and his agent, Todd France.

For the Cowboys sake, it needs to be sooner than later.

There is no longer any use debating whether he deserves this much or that much. This is about the escalating market for quarterbacks and simple math.

He is going to get paid.

The four-year, $140 million contract signed by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson only crystallized the situation for Prescott and the Cowboys.

Wilson is now the league's highest-paid quarterback at $35 million a year, surpassing Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers' deal for $33.5 million annually.

This is also not about whether Prescott is as good as Wilson and Rodgers or if he should be paid at their level. Their contracts have only increased the market for quarterbacks.

And more importantly for Prescott and the Cowboys, it has increased the level of the franchise tag, which would be the ground floor of any respective contract extension.

If the Cowboys don't get a deal with Prescott, they would be forced to place the franchise tag on him. As of now, that number is $30.8 million, based on the new money in Wilson's deal.

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

Again, that is the number right now.

Possible new deals are soon to come for Philadelphia's Carson Wentz, Los Angeles' Jared Goff, and possibly Houston's Deshaun Watson.

Debate all you want about who is more deserving and where Prescott should be slotted. It doesn't matter. The market is the market.

The money will simply go up. It won't be going down.

The Cowboys have said they want to get a Prescott deal done before the 2019 season because it's the right thing to do. Jones said he deserves it after outplaying his current deal as a former 2016 fourth-round pick.

Consider that his 2018 base salary of $630,000 was 66th among quarterbacks in the league. His cap hit of $725,848 ranked just 60th among quarterbacks and 37th among players on the Cowboys' roster.

He is slated to make $2.025 million in 2019, which is tied for 11th on the Cowboys, behind the likes of backup receiver Allen Hurns, who is slated to make $4 million. His respective cap hit is 22nd on the Cowboys and 42nd among quarterbacks across the league.

Simply put, the Cowboys have had Prescott at a bargain for the past three years.

He is 32-16 as a starter with two division titles, a playoff victory and two trips to the Pro Bowl. He has also been a marketing bonanza for the Cowboys in terms of jersey sales and merchandise.

Prescott is going to get paid and deservedly so.

For the Cowboys' sake, it needs to be sooner than later.

The market is only going up.

Photo by AP file photo
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will make $2.025 million this season. Prescott led the Cowboys to the NFC East title in 2018.

Sports on 04/18/2019

Print Headline: Cowboys need to pay Prescott quick

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