Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys still haven’t agreed to a new contract with free agency getting closer. Even if the two sides can’t settle on a long-term deal by the time players are eligible to sign with new teams on March 18, one thing is for certain: the quarterback won’t hit the open market.

For weeks, it’s appeared likely that Dallas would use the franchise tag on Prescott. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has confirmed that the team won’t let the signal caller become a free agent.

“One of the great things about Dak is his commitment to building a team. I don't have an issue there. That's just the reality of the thing. I am not in any way going to not have his rights, for one minute,” Jones told reporters Thursday, noting that Prescott will be tagged if he doesn’t sign a new contract.

The franchise tag would give Prescott and Dallas a few more months to agree on a deal. The quarterback might be eyeing a contract that pays him at least $35 million per season, which is the highest average yearly salary in the NFL.

The franchise tag would pay Prescott a guaranteed $26.9 million salary next season.

The Cowboys have some big decisions to make this offseason. Prescott and his top target, Amari Cooper, are both unsigned for the 2020 season.

Under the current CBA, Dallas can use the franchise tag on Prescott and the transition tag on Cooper, or another free-agent-to-be. If a new CBA is reached, the Cowboys will only be able to tag one player.

Players that are hit with the franchise tag can’t sign with another team. The transition tag gives teams the right to match any offer that a player might get.

Dak Prescott Cowboys Eagles
Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass after recovering his own fumble against defensive end Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Elsa/Getty Images

Cornerback Byron Jones could potentially be tagged, though the general consensus is he’ll be the odd man out in Dallas. Jerry Jones said it’s not a given that Byron Jones is gone, but he acknowledged that the Cowboys face obstacles in trying to keep one of their defensive players.

“It’s certainly pretty plain to see that, when you have the players we have right now under contract, plus we have arguably three of the top free agents there are out there and we have the prospects of this Collective Bargaining Agreement, that we've got some work to do,” Jerry Jones told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, regarding Byron Jones. “That's a real challenge.”

Byron Jones was a Second-Team All-Pro selection in 2018. He didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2019 in the final year of his contract.

Dallas ranked ninth in total defense and 11th in points allowed last season.

The Cowboys gave Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith and La'el Collins contract extensions shortly before the 2019 season.