Does Miami's Tua Tagovailoa have more leverage than Dak Prescott in contract talks?

Both QBs are looking for new deals this offseason.
Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The rumblings on a Tua Tagovailoa contract getting finalized are starting to get louder. Signing the lefty to a long-term contract has been a priority for the Miami Dolphins front office this offseason. Jared Goff and Trevor Lawrence signed new deals that put them in the company of the league’s elite quarterbacks salary wise. This has left Dak Prescott and Tagovailoa wondering when they'll get paid.

When it comes to Prescott and Tagovailoa, time is of the essence. Both QBs continue to see their contract prices rise, especially after the QB market has gone up in recent months. Will both land deals. And if so, which contract extension will get done first?

Dolphins GM Chris Grier needs to get things done with Tua Tagovailoa soon

As things stand, does Tagovailoa have more leverage than Prescott? Tagovailoa is negotiating his first contract since his rookie deal in 2020, while Prescott is looking to finalize another extension. Aside from age and potential, not too many indicators would show Tagovailoa as having more leverage than Prescott.

Statistically, Prescott outperforms Tagovailoa in several categories, including the ground game. The Dallas QB has rushed for 1,884 yards and 28 touchdowns in his career. By comparison, Tagovailoa has rushed for 381 yards and six touchdowns. 

Prescott has had his share of injuries throughout his career. He missed 12 games in 2020 over a broken ankle and five games in 2022 over a broken thumb. Prescott has played in 114 of a possible 131 regular season games. Tagovailoa's concussion history is well documented, but he also missed some time in 2021 due to some fractured ribs and a fractured finger. Overall, Tagovailoa has played in 53 of a possible 67 regular season games.

In eight seasons in Dallas, Prescott has led the Cowboys to five playoff appearances. He is 2-5 in the playoffs, never getting past the Divisional Round. In four seasons with Miami, Tagovailoa has led the Dolphins to two playoff appearances. Tua is 0-1 in the playoffs, never getting out of the Wild Card Round. 

Although Tagovailoa and Prescott are both due new contracts, the leverage they yield is very different. Miami and Chris Grier can franchise tag Tagovailoa for the 2025 season, while the Dallas Cowboys can't do the same with Prescott. During his last contract negotiations, Prescott was able to land a no-trade clause, as well as a no-franchise tag clause. Those two caveats themselves place the ball squarely in Prescott’s court, meaning the Cowboys could lose the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback for nothing next offseason. 

Watching his peers sign big contracts before him has benefited Tagovailoa and his camp. The signal-caller and his camp should look to finalize a deal sooner rather than later. Without significant improvements in 2024 and possibly a playoff victory, Tagovailoa could be finding himself playing on the franchise tag in 2025, and there’s nothing he can do about it. The hope, though, is that an extension can be agreed upon before training camp gets here.