Dak Prescott is still dreaming of retiring with the Dallas Cowboys, despite failing to agree a new contract.

Prescott will play the 2020 NFL season on a one-year exclusive franchise tender after the quarterback and Cowboys were unable to strike a deal on a long-term contract last month.

The two-time Pro Bowler had already signed his tender offer and will earn approximately $31.4million for the upcoming season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, unless the Cowboys opt to again place the franchise tag on him – a move that would count over $37m towards the 2021 salary cap.

Prescott, though, remains keen to see out his NFL career in Dallas.

"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 in a conference call on Wednesday.

"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."

Prescott was drafted by the Cowboys in 2016 and the 27-year-old has 1,363 completions for 15,778 yards and 97 touchdowns during his time in the league.

"I'm not a guy that looks at my future, to be honest. I really don't," Prescott added. "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."

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said: "We just couldn't get together at this particular point. It's easily worth nothing a lot of people this year in franchise mode didn't get together."

"Dak and I had a great visit right at the deadline," Cowboys vice-president 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 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."

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott hit back at his critics in a series of Twitter posts on Thursday, calling for his naysayers to "put some RESPECT on my name".

The 24-year-old's standing in the NFL's running back hierarchy has been a topic of discussion this week, with the Tennessee Titans agreeing to a long-term deal with Derrick Henry, and the Madden video game releasing their latest rankings.

Elliott is joint-third on that list - behind Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey and Henry, and level with the Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubb - after amassing 5,405 rushing yards in his four years in the NFL, over 1,000 more than any other back in that timeframe.

His detractors may counter that Elliott has benefitted from playing behind perhaps the best offensive line in the league in that time, though he has clearly been riled by suggestions his impressive numbers should come with any caveat.

"There are a lot of great backs in this league but I don't understand why the media has to talk down on my game just to uplift other backs," he wrote on Twitter.

"We all are talented football players and can ball.

"Check the stats. Since I entered this league I have dominated year in, year out. Put some RESPECT on my name.

"Women lie. Men lie. The stats don't. Go do your homework."

Elliott, a three-time Pro Bowler, had 1,777 yards from scrimmage last season - second behind only McCaffrey's astonishing 2,392.

He produced those numbers having held out of training camp to try and get a new deal, a request the Cowboys granted they when they agreed terms of a six-year, $90million contract less than a week before their regular season began.

"Almost 1800 scrimmage yards and 14 TDs with no training camp and now I'm not the same back," Elliott added.

"I do appreciate the standard you guys hold me to though lol. But I promise you no one holds me to a higher standard than myself."

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will play the 2020 NFL season on a one-year exclusive franchise tender after he and the team failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract by Wednesday's deadline.

Prescott had already signed his tender offer and will earn approximately $31.4million for the upcoming season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, unless the Cowboys opt to again place the franchise tag on him - a move that would count over $37m towards the 2021 salary cap.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection is one of 10 players who have signed their franchise tenders but were unable to come to terms on multi-year contracts with their respective teams. Two others, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, have yet to sign their offers.

The Tennessee Titans were able to agree to a reported four-year, $50m contract with 2019 NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry just prior to the deadline, while the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs locked up defensive lineman Chris Jones with a four-year, $85 million deal on Tuesday.

Along with Prescott, Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree, Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Matthew Judon, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney and New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams will play under the franchise tag in 2020.

Ngakoue has publicly declared his intention to no longer play for the Jaguars and has requested a trade, though the team has yet to find a suitable offer for the standout edge rusher.

NFL.com reported on Tuesday that Prescott had turned down a multi-year offer from the Cowboys that would pay him between $33 and $35m annually and included over $100m in guaranteed money.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old is coming off a stellar 2019 season in which he established career highs of 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes while directing the NFL's top-ranked offense in terms of total yards per game.

Negotiations between the Cowboys and Prescott were likely impacted by the recent 10-year, $450m extension the Chiefs gave to 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes that reset the top end of the quarterback pay scale.

Judon is currently slated to earn the second-highest salary among the group unable to land multi-year deals after he and the Ravens agreed to a $16.808m offer, a compromise between the tender rate for a defensive end and linebacker. Barrett, Dupree and Williams have filed grievances arguing they should be designated as defensive ends, which carries a higher tender value than linebackers or defensive tackles.  

The NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have announced that all events tied to the induction of the 2020 class, including the Hall of Fame Game, have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's Hall of Fame Game, the traditional opener of the preseason, was to be held on August 6 in Canton, Ohio with the Dallas Cowboys facing the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The two teams will instead meet in the 2021 edition which was rescheduled for August 5 next year.

Enshrinement of the 2020 Hall of Fame class, a 20-member group that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the NFL, will now take place over a two-day period from August 7-8 in 2021.

"We believe postponing Enshrinement Week events in 2020 is the right way to honour our Enshrinees and their families properly, along with the other living Gold Jackets who want to come to Canton for this celebration," Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker said.

"We also believe next year promises to be the greatest gathering in football ever."

Ten modern-era members, including former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, ex-Steelers coach Bill Cowher and former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, were selected to be part of the 2020 Centennial Class along with 10 others chosen by the seniors committee. The latter group had been scheduled to be inducted in September.

Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson and Edgerrin James were also voted in as modern-era players, while former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was selected as a contributor along with former NFL Films president Steve Sabol and executive George Young.

The Cowboys-Steelers matchup is the first game of the upcoming preseason to be officially cancelled. The NFL has yet to determine whether it will reduce the preseason from its usual four weeks in light of the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 situation.

Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott said his recovery from a coronavirus diagnosis has been going well and he expects to resume working out soon.

Reports surfaced last week that Elliott was among a number of Cowboys players who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in self-quarantine at his home. The two-time NFL rushing champion said in an interview on his Twitch channel he experienced some minor symptoms that have since subsided.

"I would say maybe one or two days where I felt symptoms, and even then, it wasn't too bad," he said. "I had a cough and a little bit of shortness of breath. Now I feel good, I feel normal."

Elliott added he plans to get retested next week to be cleared to resume individual workouts, which the Cowboys have had to conduct virtually along with the rest of the NFL under the league's offseason safety protocol.

He said: "I could have gotten retested this week; I just decided it won't hurt just to wait another week and give myself more time to rest up. But I feel good."

Elliott's mother said on Twitter her son was around someone who tested positive three days after they met. Both she and Elliott's sister were also in the presence of that person, but both returned negative tests.

The four-year veteran is expected to be fully cleared in time for training camp, which the NFL still hopes to allow teams to begin on time in late July while it continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.

Dak Prescott signed his $31.4million franchise tender with the Dallas Cowboys for the 2020 season on Monday, according to reports.

Tagged back in March, Prescott and the Cowboys could still try to work out a multi-year contract extension, and the two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

If no deal is worked out by then, they will have to re-negotiate next offseason or the quarterback will hit free agency, although the Cowboys could also choose to franchise him again.

The 26-year-old is entering his fifth season in the NFL and is coming off his best year, finishing second in the league with a career-high 4,902 passing yards and fourth in the league with a personal-best 30 touchdown throws.

Since being drafted in the fourth round in 2016, Prescott has never missed a game, while his 15,778 passing yards ranks sixth in the NFL and his 97 touchdown passes are tied with Carson Wentz for ninth.

Despite being one of the league's top passers, the two-time Pro Bowler has made just $4.9 million through his first four seasons in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes was among a group of players who sent a powerful message to the NFL in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, sparking protests at police brutality and racial injustice across the United States and beyond.

In a powerful video posted on social media on Thursday, 2018 NFL MVP Mahomes, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and the Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott were involved in sending a message to the NFL.

"How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players? What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?" the group of players said in the video.

They added: "On behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people.

"We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting.

"We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said recently that there was "an urgent need for action" in the wake of Floyd's death.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologised on Thursday after facing criticism for saying he disagreed with players kneeling during the United States national anthem.

Former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem in 2016 as a protest against police brutality and racial inequality.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will pledge $1million to improve police training and address systemic racism through education and advocacy in the United States following the death of George Floyd. 

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, prompting demonstrations and riots across the United States and beyond. 

Prescott commented on the situation with an Instagram post on Wednesday that started: "As a black multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled!"

Prescott backed those protesting but does not believe looting or violence is the answer. 

He said: "I have viewed these protests and riots in our streets as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as black people have rights that aren't being perceived equally as our counterparts."

Prescott also had something to say to the "men and women that police our streets".

"I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving your communities. When you chose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to PROTECT life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations," he said.

"How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don't abide by it? You need to hold your own accountable!"

Prescott said he is taking action with the donation and "will act alongside of all of you!"

He added: "We will clean our streets and our communities not only of the looting and violence, but most importantly the racism, racial-profiling, and hate!"

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith said "I still feel great", despite five years away from the NFL.

The NFL reinstated Smith from an indefinite suspension earlier this month, allowing the former All-Pro an opportunity to return to American football for the first time since November 2015.

Smith's ban was lifted, with the 30-year-old's career plagued by substance-abuse and off-field problems – he was suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2015.

Despite an extended absence, Smith – who signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys – does not believe he will be impacted by his time away from the game.

"I still feel great," Smith said on Friday. "I still feel young. I still can move well. I still have a great knowledge of the game, if not better knowledge of the game. I learned a lot from the guys I played with in California and they taught me a lot of good things."

Smith added: "It has been a journey, indeed, and a journey I'm grateful for. I've had time to really work on myself and take advantage of all the support and things that have been offered to me.

"The way I look at where I am now to who I was in the past, I was a young teenage boy in a man's body, so a man on the outside but a boy on the inside. The way I handled the issues, life, was in that immature manner and that was fear-based and not just handling things the way I should have.

"With the time I've had to work on myself, it's allowed me to grow into the man that I man that I am so the man on the inside fits on how the man on the outside looks."

The NFL has reinstated defensive end Aldon Smith from an indefinite suspension, allowing the former All-Pro an opportunity to return to American football after five years away from the game. 

Smith's ban was lifted on Wednesday after the former Oakland Raiders – now known as the Las Vegas Raiders – DE met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on a video teleconference. 

The 30-year-old's career has been plagued by substance-abuse and off-field problems and has not played since November of 2015, when he was then suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies as a member of the Raiders. 

Smith signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys last month and will be able to join the team's virtual offseason program next week and meet with team-mates and coaches. 

The seventh overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, Smith ranked second in the NFL with 19.5 sacks with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

In 43 games played from 2011-13, he had 42 sacks – second most in the NFL in that span. 

Daniel Jones said he has spoken to Dallas Cowboys great Tony Romo as the New York Giants quarterback taps into Jason Garrett's offense.

Garrett is the Giants' offensive co-ordinator after his contract as head coach of NFC East rivals the Cowboys was not renewed at the end of the last NFL season.

The 54-year-old spent nine and a half seasons as Dallas coach, a spell in which he only recorded one losing season and won three division titles, but tasted victory in just two playoff games.

Romo played in Garrett's offense until 2016, earning four Pro Bowl selections, and Jones is leaning on the Cowboys' past for the Giants.

"I have [talked with Romo] a little bit, not a ton to be honest with you," Jones, who has become the Giants' undisputed starter following Eli Manning's retirement, said on Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. "I'm sure I will as we get going."

The Giants (4-12) and the Cowboys (8-8) both missed out on the playoffs last season, finishing behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.

Jones added: "I certainly did that, diving into some of the Cowboys stuff and what they had done in the past.

"The rules make it tough to communicate a whole lot about that stuff, so there's a little bit of patience involved in that until getting to a point where we could get the playbook and kind of understand some of the concepts and get some of the verbiage. But I did my best to be prepared for when I could get my hands on that stuff."

Giants running back Saquon Barkley is also set to lean on the Cowboys, turning to Dallas counterpart Ezekiel Elliott.

"I haven't contacted Zeke yet but it's something I do plan on doing," Barkley said. "But I kind of want to dissect and get the system down myself and then get to Zeke and see what he was doing here and what he was doing there.

"It's kind of like with anything. There [is] some basic stuff that you learn and some basics you have to be able to do, but at the end of the day there is some stuff you have to do as a football player to become great and use your creativity. And I will definitely use him to try to learn from him and see what he was able to do."

Dallas Cowboys great Emmitt Smith has urged the franchise to avoid "playing chicken" in contract negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott is scheduled to play the 2020 season under the franchise tag which will pay him over $31million, with July 15 the deadline for a long-term deal to be reached.

Reports this week suggested Prescott could become the NFL's highest-paid player with terms worth $35m annually, though he was pushing for a four-year deal rather than five years.

The Cowboys swooped to sign veteran QB Andy Dalton when he was released by the Cincinnati Bengals this month but reiterated their desire to reach an agreement with Prescott.

Smith, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the Cowboys, has faith a deal will get done despite the constant media speculation.

"As far as the players go, Dak is not worried whether or not he's going to get signed," Smith said on 105.3 The Fan.

"I'm not even concerned. I believe he will get it done and I believe the Cowboys will get it done. We don't have room to be playing games or playing chicken.

"It's important to press people that need something to talk about because you don't have much to talk about because we don't have camps and minicamps and so forth. 

"The business of leverage, when you have leverage then you try to set the rules and the only way you fight leverage is you fight it by establishing your ground. I think at some point this stuff will subside."

Smith's take came after another former Cowboys first-round pick, Marcus Spears, opined Prescott would be "crazy" not to sign a deal for the amounts reported, but suggested the saga was not normal.

"If they've offered Dak $35million a year and over $100million guaranteed and he's turning it down because of an extra year, Dak is crazy," Spears said to ESPN. 

"I've never known a guy to fight over a year if he's going to get $100million guaranteed, because, usually, all that matters to NFL players is, 'What am I getting going to my bank account?'.

"[But] I'm thinking something about the structure of this contract is giving Dak and his agent pause before signing."

Since the start of last season, the Cowboys have agreed big-money extensions with Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith and Demarcus Lawrence.

Spears added: "Out of every [QB] contract we've watched get done [on other teams] there was not this delay. There was not this many players being signed to the team before the quarterback.

"There was not a nine-year starter [Dalton] signed as a backup. We keep watching it like they'll go about normal business and get the deal done. All of this stuff, this ain't normal!"

The Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints will each enter the 2020 season with high-profile backups.

Dallas signed Andy Dalton to a one-year, $7million contract on Saturday, the former Cincinnati Bengal following Jameis Winston in finding a new home.

Winston signed with the New Orleans Saints on a deal worth only $1.1m, a meagre sum for the NFL's passing yards leader in 2019.

They are excellent options to have in reserve and feature on our list of the best backups in the league.

 

Nick Mullens - San Francisco 49ers

Key Stat: Mullens' yards-per-attempt average of 8.31 ranked fifth in the NFL in 2018.

Mullens couldn't rescue San Francisco's 2018 season, which fell apart when Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3. However, after he replaced an injured C.J. Beathard in Week 9 he kept the starting job for the rest of the campaign.

He impressed with his poise and his ability to run Kyle Shanahan's offense, keeping the Niners competitive down the stretch and winning three of his eight starts. Mullens was arguably the premier backup in the league going into the 2019 season but was not needed to step in as Garoppolo helped the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Jacoby Brissett - Indianapolis Colts

Key Stat: Brissett was tied for 11th in touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2019, throwing for 18 scores and just six picks. 

The starter for the Colts last season after Andrew Luck's shock retirement, Brissett looks set to return to the backup role for the last year of his contract.

Indianapolis signed Philip Rivers to a one-year deal in the offseason, with the Colts deciding to upgrade after Brissett failed to elevate a team that struggled with injuries to the playoffs last season.

Brissett, however, has an extremely strong arm, can make plays on the move and took care of the football in 2019. His 12-20 record as a starter should not discourage teams from trying to sign him next offseason or acquire him in a trade ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Marcus Mariota - Las Vegas Raiders

Key Stat: Mariota had his best statistical season in 2016, ranking in the top 10 in passer rating (95.6), TD-INT ratio (2.89) and yards per completion (12.41)

Mariota declined in 2019 and surrendered his starting role with the Tennessee Titans to Ryan Tannehill, who led them to the AFC Championship game.

The second overall pick in the 2015 draft, Mariota unquestionably has the right pedigree, having guided the Titans to a playoff win in the 2017 season.

He has the skill set as a thrower and a runner to push starter Derek Carr and it would be no surprise if the Raiders' first season in Las Vegas is marked by a quarterback controversy.

Andy Dalton - Dallas Cowboys

Key Stat: Dalton was second in the NFL with a passer rating of 106.3 in 2015, only Russell Wilson (110.1) was superior in that regard.

The Cowboys' decision to invest in another quarterback may raise eyebrows given they are still to sign starter Dak Prescott to a new deal.

However, the expectation is that Dallas will eventually get a deal done with their franchise quarterback, and Dalton gives them an insurance policy who is worthy of having a starting job.

Dalton played at an MVP level in 2015, when a broken thumb derailed his and the Bengals' Super Bowl aspirations. He never recaptured that form in Cincinnati but his availability to serve as a backup for the Cowboys is indicative of the surplus of quarterback talent in the league.

Jameis Winston - New Orleans Saints

Key Stat: Winston's 5,109 passing yards led the NFL in 2019, he racked up 54 passing plays of 25 yards or more.

Winston was once thought to be seeking a contract in the region of $30million a year as his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers neared its end.

However, his proclivity for turning the ball over - he threw 30 interceptions in 2019 - was undoubtedly a factor in him having to settle for a substantially less lucrative deal in New Orleans after the Bucs opted to sign Tom Brady.

The first overall pick in 2015, Winston carries considerable upside as a downfield passer and is the most talented reserve in the NFL.

He has yet to channel that talent into consistency but, with Drew Brees approaching perhaps the final season of his decorated career, Winston has the perfect opportunity to transform his fortunes under head coach Sean Payton.

The Dallas Cowboys have signed former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, the NFL franchise confirmed on Saturday.

Following reports, the Cowboys announced an agreement with Dalton on a one-year deal following his departure from the Bengals.

The deal for Dalton is reportedly worth a guaranteed $3million and could be worth up to $7m.  

Dalton spent nine seasons with the Bengals and helped lead them to the playoffs five times before he was released on Thursday after Cincinnati selected Joe Burrow with the top overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Dalton posted a 70-61-2 regular-season record as Cincinnati's starting quarterback, but the Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990.  

In Dallas, Dalton will serve as backup to Dak Prescott – who was given the franchise tag by the Cowboys earlier this offseason. 

Dallas are still trying to come to a long-term contract agreement with Prescott.  

Dalton – the Bengals' career leader in touchdown passes and a three-time Pro Bowler – already has a home in Dallas and played in college at nearby TCU.  

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, NFL franchise the Cowboys signed Dalton to a one-year deal after his Cincinnati exit.

The deal is reportedly worth a guaranteed $3million and could be worth up to $7m.  

Dalton spent nine seasons with the Bengals and helped lead them to the playoffs five times before he was released on Thursday after Cincinnati drafted quarterback Joe Burrow with the top overall pick in last month's draft.  

Dalton posted a 70-61-2 regular-season record as Cincinnati's starting QB, but the Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990.  

In Dallas, Dalton will serve as backup to Dak Prescott – who was given the franchise tag by the Cowboys earlier this offseason. 

Dallas are still trying to come to a long-term contract agreement with Prescott.  

Dalton – the Bengals' career leader in touchdown passes and a three-time Pro Bowler – already has a home in Dallas and played in college at nearby TCU.  

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