Little has changed in a year.
Despite the desire, the Cowboys and Prescott were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal by the July 15 franchise-tag deadline and they cannot resume talks until after this season. In the meantime, Prescott will make $31.4 million in 2020 -- more than seven times what he earned on the field from 2016 to '19.
"I grew up wanting to be a Dallas Cowboy and I am, and I've got dreams of being a Dallas Cowboy until I'm done throwing the football," Prescott said Wednesday in a conference call. "None of that's going to change just because we couldn't reach an agreement there for this season. But as I said, I'm a Cowboy right now and that's all that matters and that's my whole focus."
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the lack of a deal was due to the unique offseason created by the coronavirus pandemic that will impact the NFL's economics in the future and made it difficult to do a generational-type contract in "an unknown period of time looking forward."
"We just couldn't get together at this particular point," Jones said of negotiations with Prescott. "It's easily worth nothing a lot of people this year in franchise mode didn't get together."
Prescott was one of 12 players with the franchise tag to not get a deal done by the deadline.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones, who handled the direct negotiations with Prescott's agent Todd France, acknowledged the length of the deal was a sticking point. The Cowboys wanted a five-year contract; France countered with four. The sides did not engage in serious discussions from March until just a few hours before the deadline.
"Dak and I had a great visit right at the deadline," Stephen Jones said. "He's so fired up about our team and about our future. Ultimately now we're going to have to figure out how to get this done. I'm more convinced than ever it will get done, but because of the moving parts we were dealing with with the virus and some of the other deals, which were not down the middle in terms of being normal, it just made for some challenges."
As optimistic as the Cowboys and Prescott might be right now about getting a contract done in 2021, the economics will likely be more difficult. If the Cowboys again use the tag on Prescott, it would cost them $37.7 million and the salary cap will go down, which could force the Cowboys into restructuring a number of contracts or releasing high-cost players.
Prescott said he believes the way the negotiations ended can help Jones and France see more "eye to eye" in the talks going forward. He said he would get involved in the process if needed, but he trusts France to get a deal done.
For now, the focus is back on the field, not the contract.
"I'm not a guy that looks at my future, to be honest. I really don't," Prescott said. "I mean, I count my blessings every day. I walk in the day that I'm given and rejoice in it. I'm thankful for it. It can sound cliche and whatever you want to make it, but I can't look at tomorrow without taking care of today and that's the way I've been throughout my life."