The two sides still have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. The Cowboys had placed the franchise tag on Prescott on March 18.
By signing his franchise tender, Prescott will be contractually obligated to report to training camp on time, whether or not he and the Cowboys can figure out a long-term deal.
This offseason, the Cowboys have made an offer to Prescott that would put him among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. Seattle‘s Russell Wilson is the highest paid at $35 million per season, followed by Pittsburgh‘s Ben Roethlisberger at $34 million.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have repeatedly expressed their belief that Prescott is the team’s quarterback of the future and capable of leading the franchise back to a Super Bowl. Prescott, who turns 27 on July 29, has said on multiple occasions that he never wanted to leave the Cowboys.
The Cowboys had hoped to sign Prescott to an extension last offseason that would have guaranteed him nine figures, but the quarterback bet on himself, willing to play for $2.02 million in 2019.
Prescott completed 388 of 596 passes for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdown passes last season. Despite career highs in yardage and touchdowns, Prescott had his worst record as a starter (8-8) as the Cowboys missed the playoffs. His growth as a passer, however, was obvious as the Cowboys had two 1,000-yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.
The Cowboys took Prescott with their second pick of the fourth round in the 2016 draft — a compensatory pick at No. 135 overall. When Tony Romo went down in the 2016 preseason with a back injury, the Cowboys were forced to turn to Prescott, and he has started every game since (64 starts).
Prescott was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2016 after throwing 23 touchdown passes to four interceptions as Dallas went 13-3. The Cowboys had home-field advantage in the NFC but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Green Bay Packers on a last-second field goal.
In 2018, Prescott guided the Cowboys back to the playoffs after a 3-5 start and won his first postseason game in the wild-card round against the Seahawks. The Cowboys lost in the divisional round to the Los Angeles Rams.
In his four seasons, Prescott is in the top five in wins (40), touchdowns passing and rushing, and Total QBR (68), becoming one of the NFL’s biggest bargains. He earned $4 million in salary and signing bonus the past four seasons.
He has thrown for 15,778 yards with 97 touchdowns and 36 interceptions in his career. He has 12 300-yard passing games, one behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for second in team history. Prescott also has 21 career rushing touchdowns, which is one more than Hall of Famer Roger Staubach for the most in team history.
ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.