Queensland legend and former Cowboys player Brent Tate has backed Tom Dearden to be a future captain of the club.

Initially off-contract at the end of the 2024 season, Dearden negotiated a long-term deal on Tuesday to stay with the Cowboys until at least the end of the 2029 season.

The extension came after the playmaker shunned a big-money offer from the St George Illawarra Dragons as they tried to lure him away from Queensland.

Although it's an extremely long contract, former NRL player Brent Tate sees him as a future captain of the club and for him to lead the attack in the halves.

“He's got leadership capabilities written all over him,” Tate said on SEN 1170.

“I definitely think he is (a future captain).

“He is a player the club will want to build around because he's got a fantastic attitude and he's a great competitor.

“He has also got a lot of progression to go as a footballer as I see him moving into the number seven (jersey) and becoming a controlling halfback.

“That move is imminent and I certainly think he can be the controlling half and that running threat.

“It's very exciting for Tommy.”

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At just 22 years old, Dearden has already appeared in 80 games for the club and even made his State of Origin debut for the Queensland Maroons in the 2022 series.

Entering the Christmas break, Tate sees Dearden's re-signing as an early Christmas present for Cowboys fans especially since there were times over the year that he looked like departing the club.

“It's a great little Christmas present for the Cowboys,” Tate added on SEN 1170.

“It's a club he supported as a young man so it's a dream come true for him and it's ana astute signing for the Cowboys.

“In a tough year this year, he was the shining light for the Cowboys.

“It's a long deal at five years but Tom isn't the type of player who gets comfortable.

‘He always wants to improve, he's a great competitor and it's a great acquisition for the Cowboys so they can build the team around him.

“It's a wonderful signing.”