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Cowboys, Dak Not Alone As Tag Deadline Looms


Time is ticking away on the negotiating deadline for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys.

They've got until 3 p.m. (CT) Wednesday to complete a long-term contract extension, but as of Tuesday afternoon, multiple reports haven't cited progress in the talks. Without a deal, Prescott would stay on his one-year, $31.4 million franchise tag contract and talks would be on hold until 2021.

The Cowboys aren't alone in this spot as the deadline looms.

Around the league, 13 of 14 franchised players are still currently on the one-year tag: Prescott, Titans running back Derrick Henry, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Steelers pass rusher Bud Dupree, Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams, Patriots guard Joe Thuney, Bucs pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, Vikings safety Anthony Harris, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, Broncos safety Justin Simmons, Ravens pass rusher Matthew Judon and Chargers tight end Hunter Henry. The Chiefs and defensive tackle Chris Jones broke the ice Tuesday, agreeing to a four-year, $85 million contract.

By comparison, six players received the tag last year -- defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (Cowboys), defensive end Frank Clark (Seahawks), linebacker Dee Ford, (Chiefs), defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (Falcons), pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney (Texans) and Robbie Gould (49ers) -- and all but Clowney (now a free agent) got new deals before the 2019 deadline.

It remains to be seen how many extensions get done by Wednesday. In New York and Tennessee, reports have already surfaced that Williams and Henry are expected to play on the tag this season.

One apparent factor, at least in the Titans’ case, might be the uncertainty around next year's salary cap due to the nation's COVID-19 crisis. A drop in NFL revenue this season would impact the league's cap figure for 2021. Obviously, that complicates financial projections for teams.

Nevertheless, the Cowboys have stated their top roster priority this offseason is signing Prescott, a two-time Pro Bowler, long term. Both sides reportedly have exchanged multiple proposals since negotiations began over a year ago, including just before the start of the 2019 season. But contract length apparently has been a sticking point with Prescott reportedly wanting a shorter deal and the Cowboys reportedly wanting a longer one.

Technically, there's still a little time. But as things stand right now, there hasn't been much tag-deadline movement around the league, period, and that includes Dallas.