NOTE: The dollar figures in this post are pure speculation. Apparently, the impasse in the negotiations between the Dallas Cowboys and the negotiating team for Dak Prescott is as much about the length of the contract as it is about money. The Cowboys want a 7 year deal, which would keep Dak in Dallas through the 2026 season - matching the length of Ezekiel Elliott's current contract commitment. Dak's team wants a 4 year extension,which would keep Dak undercontract through the 2023 season. A 7 year deal would undoubtedly be in excess of $200M, but Dak's team of negotiators doesn't want to lock him in that long, prefering to get another bite at the negotiating apple in about 4 years, after which time starting salaries for QB's may have escalated even further. If the Cowboys are going to get Dak Prescott to agree to a 7 year deal, they are likely going to have to escalate his salaries in years 5-7 to the point that his team is comfortable locking him in that long. For example, if the Cowboys match the Goff or Wentz deals for the first 4 years (avg $32M), then the out years will have to average more. That may be the root of the rumors that Dak is asking for $40M. Maybe his team is asking for $40M in 2026, not a $40M average. In any case, any longer term deal will necessarily average more than either the Goff or Wentz deals. That is the price the Cowboys will have to pay to get Dak to sign a longer term deal. Example: If the Cowboys give Dak an average salary of $37M per season in years 5-7, and an average of $32M in years 1-4, the overall average contract value would be about $34M. Combined with his 2019 existing salary of $2M, that would make it an 8 year deal worth about $241M - an average of just over $30M per season. In the current market, that may be a bit low. An 8 year average value of $32M per season would be a 7 year, $254M extension. This is pure speculation, but it seems reasonable to me that Dak's negotiating team will argue that any 7 year extension must average $32M per season over the entire 8 year life of the contract - including this year. A contract could look something like this: 7 year, $253.975M contract extension, $111.975M guaranteed, $50M signing Bonus spread out over 2019 & 2020. Dak receives a $30M signing bonus this year, and a $20M Restructure Bonus in March of 2020. (This doesn't include the $2.025M already committed to Dak for 2019. The Cowboys would also guarantee his 2019 salary, making the total guaranteed amount $114M. Salary Cap Impact 2019 - $2.025M salary + $6M signing bonus (2019) = $8.025M Salary Cap hit 2020 - $11.975M salary + $6M SB (2019) + $4M Restructure Bonus (2020) = $21.975M Salary Cap hit 2021 - $24M SAL + $6M SB(2019) + $4M RB(2020) = $34M Salary Cap hit 2022 - $26M SAL + $6M SB(2019) + $4M RB(2020) = $36M Salary Cap hit **** All Guaranteed money paid by 2022 ***** 2023 - $28M SAL + $6M SB(2019) + $4M RB(2020) = $38M Salary Cap hit 2024 - $35M SAL + $4M RB(2020) = $39M Salary Cap hit 2025 - $39M SAL = $39M Salary Cap hit 2026 - $40M SAL = $40M Salary Cap hit Cash outlay by year for Cowboys - Actual money paid to Dak 2019 - $32.025M = $2.025M Salary + $30M signing Bonus 2020 - $31.975M = $11.975M Salary + $20M Restructure Option Bonus 2021 - $24M 2022 - $26M 2023 - $28M 2024 - $35M 2025 - $39M 2026 - $40M Total - $256M over 8 years = $32M per season This will be reported as a 7 year, $254M extension, which is an average of $36.3M per season by the math-challenged morons in the press, and the Cowboys will be accused of setting the market. Jerry and Stephen will be accused of lying. But the actual average paid per season will be $32M per year, which is less than Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger are getting. If Dak's performance craters, he will never see the last $142M of the contract, making this effectively a 4 year, $114M deal - an average of $28.5M per season from 2019-2022. This is just slightly more than Kirk Cousins is getting in Minnesota, who guaranteed him $28M per season. Dak is already out-performing Kirk Cousins. Dak would average $35.5M Salary over the last 4 years of his deal, which by that time may be a bargain. The Cowboys would have to take a $14M dead money CAP hit in 2023 if they cut him, but they'd actually save $24M on the Salary CAP. This is their out if Dak doesn't work out as a long-term solution.