Prescott to skip offseason program without deal

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    Zak Prescott (Photo by nfl.com)

    DALLAS,TX. – Quarterback Dak Prescott won’t be participating in the Dallas Cowboys’ virtual offseason program, which can begin on Monday, without a new contract, Pro Football Talk reported Tuesday.

    According to the report, Prescott would not have shown up at the team’s facilities for the traditional program without a contract extension, and that won’t change with all NFL programs moving online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday afternoon that he was “not necessarily aware” of Prescott making any such decision.

    “He certainly was sent an iPad, and I know he certainly can participate,” Jones said. “For every player, it’s voluntary in terms of their participation in the virtual meetings. I’m not aware and haven’t been made aware of to what degree Dak’s participation level would be.”

    The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed Monday to a format for virtual offseason programs, with teams allowed to conduct classroom instruction, workouts and non-football education programs. Everything is completely voluntary.

    With a new head coach in Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys can begin their program Monday. Teams with returning head coaches can begin April 27. Programs can run through May 15.

    The Cowboys gave Prescott, 26, the non-exclusive franchise tag before he could become a free agent in March, preventing him from negotiating with any other teams and assigning him on a $33 million salary for 2020.

    He and the team have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension, or Prescott will be locked into the one-year deal and again approach free agency next March. The sides reportedly resumed negotiations in late March, but it’s unclear if there is motivation to complete a deal before the offseason program begins.

    A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Prescott set career highs in 2019, his fourth NFL season, with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes.

    Meanwhile, Jones also said the team has spoken with Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott about the importance of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, after TMZ reported over the weekend that Prescott hosted a party of about 30 people, including Elliott.

    “We’ve certainly communicated with Dak and Zeke. I think they’re certainly aware now of how sensitive these situations are and I don’t think you’ll be seeing that anymore,” Jones said. “They are certainly guys we have the utmost respect for. I certainly know they understand the sensitivity of the situation we’re in, it’s certainly very serious and something we know they understand.”

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