The Dallas Cowboys QB was given a long-term extension ahead of the 2021 season after a lengthy back-and-forth with the front office. Let’s dive into numbers behind the landmark deal.
In his first season, the Mississippi State product threw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns as Dallas’ 16-game starter en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. In fact, his 77.6 QB rating that year is still the highest mark of his career.
Prescott rode that momentum for the next three seasons, throwing for at least 3,300 yards and 22 touchdowns every year, led by a 2019 campaign that saw him rack up a career-high 4,902 yards to go along with 30 TDs. Most importantly, he was durable, playing in all 16 regular-season games for each of his first four seasons in the NFL.
With his rookie scale contract set to expire following that 2019 season, it was common knowledge that the quarterback had earned himself quite the payday heading into contract negotiations. The Dallas front office opted to take its time in offering a deal that was to Prescott’s liking, however — so much so that he played the 2020 campaign under the franchise tag, landing him a fully guaranteed $31,409,000 for the season.
Then, what every player seeking a long-term lucrative contract fears happened just fives games into the season: Prescott suffered a season-ending right ankle injury. Pundits left and right began to speculate what this meant for his future deal and if the Cowboys would be hesitant to offer the years and money Prescott was initially hoping for in a new contract.
After some time, though, Dallas came to its senses, offering the now-veteran QB a four-year, $160 million pact ahead of his 2021 comeback campaign, and the former Mississippi State Bulldog quickly put pen to paper. With that in mind, let’s dive deeper into the details of the Cowboys’ hefty Dak Prescott contract.
Dak Prescott Contract Details & Salary
Total value: $160,000,000
Average annual value: $40,000,000
Guaranteed at signing: $95,000,000
Total guaranteed money: $126,000,000
Free agency: 2025 (potential out after 2023 season)
Annual contract extension earnings:
At the time of signing, Prescott became the second-highest paid player in the NFL at an average annual value (AAV) of $40 million per year, sitting only behind Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. Since, he’s been passed by the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen, and Derek Carr; he now sits tied with Matthew Stafford for the eighth-highest AAV among NFL quarterbacks.
There was a question as to whether or not Prescott should take a page out of Kirk Cousin’s playbook and sign a second franchise tag; that tender would have been worth $37,690,080 after taking into account that the team would have to pay 120% of Prescott’s salary the previous season under NFL rules. The quarterback opted to avoid any more contract gymnastics, however, taking home a then-NFL record for fully guaranteed money at signing.
After this season, he’ll still be owed $65,000,000, but he notably has the choice to opt out of his deal one year early following the 2023 season, at which point he’ll still be just 30 years old.
Dak Prescott’s Career Earnings
CAREER BASE SALARY: $39,404,000
CAREER SIGNING BONUSES: $66,383,393
OTHER BONUSES/INCENTIVES: $25,530,432
TOTAL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 20212 SEASON: $131,317,825
ESTIMATED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2024 SEASON: $196,317,825