Kirk Cousins knows a thing or two about playing under the franchise tag, having done so in the 2016 and 2017 seasons before signing a lucrative three-year, $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
Perhaps the end result is what fueled Cousins to give advice to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who received the exclusive franchise tag by the team before he could become a free agent in March. The move put Prescott on a $33 million salary for 2020 and prevented him from negotiating with any other teams.
Prescott, 26, and the Cowboys have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension, or he will be locked into the one-year deal and again approaching free agency in March 2021.
“I think (the franchise tag) enables you to be well compensated, and deservedly so, for the upcoming season. Then, I always say the cream will rise to the top. If you’re good enough, the cream’s going to rise to the top, and you’re going to get compensated the way you want to,” Cousins told ESPN. “Sometimes it doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like, but if you deserve it, and you’ve earned it, it’s going to happen. So you’ve just got to stay the course and stay patient. Certainly in my journey, it all worked out. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.
“So my message to Dak, when I saw him midseason last year, was, ‘Hey, whatever happens, don’t be afraid of the tag. It can be your friend, and you can use it to your advantage.'”
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Prescott set career highs in 2019 with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes.
–Field Level Media