1. Back up a Brink’s truck to the franchise quarterback’s feet — immediately.
2. Suffer the consequences — eventually.
During a recent appearance on the ThomaHawk Show, a podcast hosted by former NFL players Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins, the legendary Cowboys wide receiver pushed for Prescott’s windfall while cautioning Dallas not to kick the proverbial can down the road.
“I think Dak should get paid. There’s no question,” Bryant said. “You got to look at everything he’s done. Since he’s been in that locker room, he is an outstanding leader. That’s just something that was born inside him. I’m not just doing this talkity-talk-talk stuff; I really do believe that. The way that he correlates with the guys means way more than a pass on the football field. Some quarterbacks have it and some quarterbacks don’t have it, and he has it. He’s going out here, doing way better than people [give him credit for]. He’s just shutting up everybody each and every week.”
“He’s putting the Cowboys in a tough situation,” he added. “Why not go ahead and pay him now? If they wait until the end of the year, they will find themselves in a deep hole of trouble trying to sign Dak to a reasonable contract.”
What was “imminent” in Week 1 is now considered back-burnered. Prescott’s camp and the Cowboys’ front office have yet to reach a middle ground in months-long discussions, which may result in the 24-year-old becoming the richest QB in NFL history, whenever the sides reach an accord prior to Prescott hitting unrestricted free agency next March.
It’s gotten to the point that team brass, such as vice president Stephen Jones, will no longer broach the subject, because there’s nothing new to add.
“Everybody knows we want to make a deal. I know Dak wants a deal,” Jones said on Sept. 23. “There are just things that have to get worked out when you have a contract of this magnitude. I just don’t have any feel to say when it’s going to happen.”
Talks reportedly reached an “impasse” prior to the Cowboys’ Week 2 game in Washington, with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reporting that Prescott might be “holding out” for a lucrative short-term megadeal rather than the multi-year extension other Cowboys stars have signed this offseason.
“My understanding is these Dak Prescott extension talks which Jerry Jones termed imminent just a week ago have reached a little bit of an impasse,” he said, per NFL.com. “It doesn’t seem like things will happen for the foreseeable future. Obviously that could change but that is the read right now. …
“The Cowboys have signed a lot of their key players to really long-term deals. Zeke Elliott the latest all their offensive lineman are on long long-term deals. But then look at the recent deals quarterbacks have done. Four-year extension for [Rams QB] Jared Goff. Four-year extension for [Eagles QB] Carson Wentz. It would make a lot of sense if Dak is holding out for some of those shorter term deals to cash in at a sooner time.”
Bryant, though, touched on a good point, that Dallas essentially is negotiating against themselves. With each passing week, and each shining performance, Prescott’s price tag skyrockets, and it won’t be long before his value supersedes whatever pie (read: cap space) is available. So Jerry should bite the financial bullet as soon as feasibly possible, even if it isn’t preferable — nor, perhaps, practical.
Prescott currently ranks second in the league in passing TDs (9) and sixth in passing yards (920) and yards per game (306.7). Collectively, the Cowboys’ offense sits among the top five in every major statistical category: fourth in points (32.3 per game) and passing yards (302.3), and third in total yards (481.3) and rushing yards (179.0).
He can earn himself a few additional million dollars Sunday night against a Saints defense that ranks near the bottom in the same categories: 26th in points (27.3), 28th in total yards (436.0), 29th against the pass (301.7 yards per game), and 25th against the run (134.3).
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Dak Deal Not on the Horizon
That’s the absolute latest from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who tweeted Wednesday it’d be a “huge surprise” if Prescott signs “any time soon.” This would appear to jibe with Rapoport’s hearsay that Prescott is prepared to wait out the Cowboys for his preferred pact.
Dez Details ‘Unfair’ Release from Cowboys
After unleashing his two cents on Prescott, the semi-retired Bryant opened up about his 2018 departure from Dallas, implying he was unfairly released and “disturbed” by the process.
To hear Bryant tell it, his messy breakup with owner Jerry Jones affected him so deeply, it contributed to the three-time Pro Bowler’s decision to rebuff a post-Cowboys offer from the Baltimore Ravens.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind to even be trying to play football. I didn’t like how my relationship ended with the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “I felt like a lot of things went on in that organization that wasn’t fair. I think it was a lot of political stuff that was going on. I’m the type of guy that voices my opinion, but I do all of the research before I voice my opinion. I just felt like it was too strong. It might have rubbed some of the guys the wrong way, but if they did their research, they would see that it does make sense. It was just one of those things — my opinion versus theirs — and it was: should we have him here or should we not have him here? I was voted that I shouldn’t be there. It kind of bothered me, because I actually felt like I really stood for those guys, I really cared for those guys, especially the rookie guys that came in. A lot of guys into the hazing, I was never into that. I would like a rookie to come in and damn near feel like a vet. I felt like I had done a great job with amping guys on the field and off the field. It was real genuine things. That would be the most disturbing part for me, not being there, because I took that serious more than I feel like any guy inside of that locker room.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL