Following Saturday’s preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys walk-year quarterback Dak Prescott made his first public comments since he reportedly turned down a $30 million-per-year offer from the team and dug in his heels for $40 million annually.
“You know what that was,” Prescott said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I ignore that.”
He continued: “It’s 100 percent not an issue. I do this. I got people that handle that. I play football. I will continue to do that and let them handle their business.”
Prescott completed five-of-five passes for 64 yards on Dallas’ opening drive against the Rams, leading a 97-yard scoring march — the difference in a 14-10 win. He’s now a perfect nine-for-nine on completions through two brief exhibition appearances, sans his all-star running back (Ezekiel Elliott), who’s holding out, and wide receiver (Amari Cooper), who’s battling a heel injury.
A 2016 fourth-round draft pick, Prescott is entering the final year of his four-year rookie pact, which is due to pay “just” $2.025 million in base salary this season.
The NFL’s richest QB, on an annual basis, is Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who’s pulling in $35 million per year on a $140 million deal. Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger holds the silver medal — $34 million per year — followed by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million), Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz ($32 million) and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan ($30 million).
The Cowboys currently sport about $23.53 million in available salary cap space, enough to assauge Prescott but not Elliott nor Cooper, who’s also seeking a lucrative extension.
Cart before the horse or horse before the cart. The logistics don’t matter to Dak.
“I don’t have a timeline on it,” Prescott said, via the Telegram. “I don’t have a worry if it’s done tonight, done tomorrow, done in a week or during the year. It doesn’t matter.”
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Naturally, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was made available to the media after the Rams game. Naturally, Jones owned the spotlight, volleying questions relating to his troika of money-seeking stars.
While he’s taking a hard-line approach with Elliott, who remains away from the team, Dallas’ head honcho is more than willing to admit that Prescott deserves to get paid — handsomely. The problem is, and has been, settling on a mutually agreeable number.
“Again, coming up on the money is really not that issue with Dak,” Jones said, via the Telegram. A lot of people question whether Dak is one of the guys who need to be in the top tier. I have never questioned that. That is what this is showing you. I don’t think there is any doubt that he is at the top level of paid quarterbacks. There is no question in my mind about that. Now how we make this all fit to have the best team around him, that is what we are trying to work on.”
With 20 days to go until the Cowboys’ Sept. 8 regular season opener against New York, the clock is ticking for the sides to reach agreement. And though Prescott isn’t skipping on-field work, unlike Elliott, the club would prefer to not have this distraction hang over their collective heads much longer.
Reading between the lines, and given the importance of the position, Prescott seems closer to putting pen to paper than Zeke or Cooper. Look for progress to be made prior to Dallas’ next preseason affair, a home meeting with the Houston Texans on Aug. 24.
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