The contract impasse between the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott appears headed toward an inevitable and seemingly uncomfortable entanglement over the next year that could open the door to a potential doomsday scenario in terms of the quarterback's future with the franchise.
The two sides had no scheduled talks as of Tuesday afternoon.
Pending significant developments before Wednesday's 3 p.m. deadline for a long-term deal, Prescott will play the 2020 season on the franchise tag, worth a guaranteed $31.4 million, as the Cowboys and the quarterback who has started every game over the last four years can't resume negotiations until after the season.
Eight NFL quarterbacks have been hit with the franchise tag since 1993. Only two were forced to play under the tag after not getting long-term deals from their respective teams -- Drew Brees, then of the San Diego Chargers and Kirk Cousins, then of Washington's NFL franchise.
Both ended up signing free agent deals with other teams. Brees, who eventually signed with the New Orleans Saints, moved on after the one season under the tag largely because the Chargers drafted Phillip Rivers.
Cousins was tagged twice by Washington before signing with the Minnesota Vikings for three years and $84 million fully guaranteed before the 2018 season. He has since signed a two-year $66 million extension giving him a deal worth $96 million over the next three years.
After the 2020 season, Cousins will have earned more money than any player in the NFL since his first year under the cap in 2016.
The Cousins route appears to be ripe for Prescott no matter how much he and the Cowboys have stated over the past two years they want to strike a long-term commitment.
The two sides have not talked since March when Prescott turned down a five-year offer worth more than $34 million annually, and a then-record of $110 million in guaranteed money.
Prescott wants to do a four-year deal, and neither side has wavered.