With no long-term contract in sight, the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott are heading straight toward a situation in which the team will have to use its franchise tag on the star quarterback, league sources told ESPN.
At this point, the franchise tag looks inevitable, according to sources, although neither side wants the tag to come into play. Dallas strongly prefers a long-term agreement, and it will continue to push to sign Prescott to an extension in the coming weeks. Prescott, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month, also wants a long-term deal.
But the sides disagree over the two-time Pro Bowler's value, leaving them at an impasse.
What would happen if and when Dallas uses the tag on Prescott is more uncertain. Players usually don't welcome franchise tags, and teams such as Pittsburgh (with Le'Veon Bell) and Washington (with Kirk Cousins) have learned this too well.
The other disconcerting issue for both sides, along with Cowboys fans, is that the talks have gone on for months without coming close to a resolution.
Prescott, in a recent interview with ESPN's Sage Steele, said he is confident that the sides will agree to a deal this offseason.
"There's a lot of things that have to come into play when you're talking about a contract," Prescott told Steele. "Never just look at the money, never just look at what people see or the attention-grabber. There's a lot of details to it. There's people that know that handle that, so I'm leaving that up to my agent and I have all the confidence in both sides."
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said last month at the Senior Bowl that signing Prescott to a new deal was the franchise's No. 1 priority this offseason.
Although the Cowboys finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs this past season, Prescott had a career year, posting career highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdown passes (30).