Cowboys rework Dak Prescott's contract to reduce massive cap hit slightly, AP source says

FILE - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott speaks during a news conference after their win against the Carolina Panthers in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. The Dallas Cowboys are slightly reducing quarterback Dak Prescott's massive salary cap hit by reworking his contract going into the final year of the deal, a person with knowledge of the move said Monday, March 18, 1024. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones, File) (Rusty Jones, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FRISCO, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys are slightly reducing quarterback Dak Prescott’s massive salary cap hit by reworking his contract going into the final year of the deal, a person with knowledge of the move said Monday.

A $5 million roster bonus has been converted into a signing bonus to reduce the 2024 cap hit by $4 million, to about $55 million, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club doesn't release details of contracts. The move was first reported by ESPN.

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The Cowboys can create more salary cap relief with an extension for Prescott, who is coming off a wild-card loss at home to Green Bay that dropped his playoff record to 2-5.

While Jerry Jones has said the club plans to keep Prescott, the team owner and general manager hasn't struck the same definitive tone he did in 2021 before signing his franchise QB to a club-record $160 million, four-year contract.

The reworking of the contract included adding two more voidable years in 2027 and 2028, which pushed Prescott's salary cap number in 2025 up slightly to $40 million.

The Cowboys have been quiet in free agency in part because of looming paydays for All-Pro receiver CeeDee Lamb and star pass rusher Micah Parsons, the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Committing to Prescott beyond the coming season would make it easier to get deals done with Lamb and Parsons.

The only addition for Dallas from another team so far is linebacker Eric Kendricks on a one-year deal worth up to $3.5 million. The Cowboys added Kendricks while releasing linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, their 2018 first-round pick, on a failed physical designation after another neck injury last season.

Prescott, a three-time Pro Bowler, has started ever since the beginning of his rookie year after Tony Romo was injured during the preseason in 2016. Prescott went from unheralded fourth-round pick to the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year while leading Dallas to the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

The Cowboys lost Prescott's playoff debut to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, and they haven't advanced past the divisional round in four other tries since then. Dallas hasn't been to an NFC championship game since the last of the franchise's five Super Bowl titles to cap the 1995 season.

Dallas agreed to terms Monday with another of its free agents, a one-year deal for running back Rico Dowdle. With Tony Pollard's departure to Tennessee in free agency, Dowdle is the leading returning rusher with 361 yards.

The Cowboys also are bringing back cornerback Jourdan Lewis, special teams ace C.J. Goodwin and long snapper Trent Sieg.



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