Following Dak Prescott's injury, Kirk Cousin's advice on franchise tags rings true
After Prescott's injury, Cousin's advice on franchise tags originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
When Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Week 5 against the Giants, the first concern was his health. Pictures of the injury and reaction from Prescott and others showed that his season was over.
Although the first surgery went well and Prescott is in a good mood, another reality set in shortly after: the talented passerby's financial future is now at risk.
The fifth year pro and the off-season Cowboys are known to have failed to close a long-term deal, forcing Prescott to act as a franchisee for the 2020 season. While he's making $ 31.4 million this year, it's unclear what's next. An injury that gets him out of the way only raises more questions.
Former Washington quarterback and current Minnesota Vikings is very familiar with the franchise tag situation. During the 2016 and 2017 Washington seasons, cousins were tagged as the two sides were unable to work out a new deal.
The quarterback believes it was the right move and even mentions Prescott in 2019 so as not to shrink from the day.
"My message to Dak when I saw him off-season last year was, 'Hey, whatever happens, don't be afraid of the label. It can be your friend and you can use it to your advantage,'" said Cousins to ESPN.
"I think the franchise day can be your friend," said Cousins. "I don't think it's something to be disappointed with. I think it allows you to be well compensated for the season ahead, and rightly so."
There was one condition of playing under the label, however, which cousins deemed essential. Cousins gambled for the future with no financial security and took out life insurance for those seasons. That way, if a serious injury affected his season, he could still take care of himself and his family.
This advice was noted by cousins that he would pass on to Prescott during an interview on the 10 Questions With Kyle Brandt podcast before the regular season.
"Well, that would be my advice to be honest. Make sure you have an insurance policy, "said Cousins." That's the cost of doing business. When you're ready to write that check and pay the bills, play soccer. "
"And again, he even has a track record, far more than me, in which he has proven what he can do regardless of what happens in 2020 or 2021. So it really won't change my perceived worth of him or his value to teams "I would think it's pretty stable."
Well, this suggestion is truer after Prescott's injury. It's unclear whether he followed what cousins did or not, but he is now in the situation the former Washington quarterback feared most. Despite a hot start to 2020, everything is now in the balance.
While cousins believe Prescott has shown enough in the past to land a big deal no matter what came this season, a serious health problem will have ramifications. The NFL is a business more than anything, and if the cowboys don't believe Prescott is worth his worth before being injured, the Brinks truck may not be backed up.
For now, Prescott's primary focus will be on his recovery, and rightly so. Finally, the time will come to determine his next contract in the NFL. It was a crazy incident, but one that complicates the already complicated way of playing under the franchise tag.
When cousins went through the situation, many viewed this as a great risk. From his explanation of the situation and the plans he made, it is clear that he was prepared for any circumstance.
For quarterbacks who may end up on a similar path, it may be wise to consider advice from cousins.
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