This development doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. There was no indication that the Cowboys were closing in on long-term deal for their starting quarterback.
The Eagles will be rooting for the Cowboys to end up having to tag Prescott so he accounts for a big chunk of cap space. And the longer Dallas waits to give Prescott a long-term extension, the more his price tag increases. The Cowboys are likely going to have to pay him more than what Carson Wentz got despite the fact that Philly’s quarterback is the better player. And the more the Cowboys pay to Prescott means the less they can spend on the team around him.
Prescott and the Cowboys do still have plenty of time to work out a multi-year contract extension prior to the July 15 deadline. But if Prescott is smart about maximizing his earnings, he can go the Kirk Cousins route and play on the tag. Prescott should be in no rush to sign a long-term deal since he can make more money by waiting. The quarterback market is only rising, especially with a Patrick Mahomes mega-deal on the horizon.
Another relevant angle to the Cowboys tagging Prescott is that it likely ensures Amari Cooper will at least make it to the legal tampering window. Other teams can begin negotiating terms with the Cowboys’ leading wide receiver as soon as noon today. The Eagles previously tried to trade for Cooper in 2018 but the Cowboys outbid Philly’s offer.
The Cowboys losing Cooper would be a significant hit to their offense. He’s been a big part of their offensive success over the past 1.5 seasons. The Eagles sure wouldn’t mind seeing him leave the NFC East, assuming they don’t sign him.
It’d be most ideal for the Cowboys to get Prescott and Cooper signed to long-term deals. We’ll see if they can get it done.