Three times during a segment on NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport’s podcast, live from the Super Bowl festivities in Miami, Prescott used the word “confidence” to detail ongoing contract negotiations with the Cowboys.
“I’ve got confidence something will get done,” he said on RapSheet + Friends, per the team’s official website. “Obviously being the Cowboys quarterback is second to none. There’s very few positions in all of sports that are comparable to it. So when you put that in perspective, my mindset is to be in Dallas and I’ve got the confidence in my team to get something done and the confidence in the Cowboys that we’ll be able to.”
At last check, the brain trust is working diligently to lock down Prescott, who put a bow atop his rookie contract — taking home “just” $2.025 million in 2019 — with a career season. The former Pro Bowl passer threw for 4,902 yards, one shy of the club’s single-season record, spearheading the league’s top-ranked offense in yards per game and the second-best aerial attack.
After stating earlier this month his intention to “land the plane and get his deal done,” Dallas vice president Stephen Jones claimed that hammering out a windfall for the franchise QB is “urgent” and his “No. 1 priority” over the coming weeks.
“It’s been urgent for us,” Jones said last week at the Senior Bowl, via Pro Football Talk. “We certainly want to get that done. That’s our No. 1 priority as we go into the offseason is to . . . hopefully find some resolution to it and get that done.”
The sides, Jones previously revealed, were on the precipice of an agreement before the start of the season. And although talks eventually crumbled, creating a nationally-documented standstill, the Cowboys fully plan to reach an accord with its “quarterback of the future,” who’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 18.
Prescott reportedly is seeking a pact worth $40 million annually, which would make him the richest signal-caller in the sport’s history. While that likely won’t materialize, he’s primed to reset the positional landscape until Houston expectedly rewards Deshaun Watson or Kansas City hands reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes what is sure to be a gargantuan extension.
The Cowboys have over two-dozen unsigned players careening toward free agency, some more important than others: Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and cornerback Byron Jones, to name a few. Cooper, Jones said, is the No. 2 priority behind Prescott.
There’ll be enough salary-cap room (roughly $81 million) to largely assuage Dak’s contractual wants, but the team also has the franchise tag at their disposal — and should execute it — if discussions once again falter.
Jones doesn’t believe that applying the tag, projected to cost nearly $27 million, would preclude the Cowboys from splurging elsewhere, inside or outside the building.
“No, we can work around that,” he said.
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Prescott ‘Excited’ About McCarthy’s Arrival
We already were aware how new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy felt about Prescott, whom, McCarthy said, the offense will revolve around. But we didn’t know how Prescott felt about McCarthy, who replaces Jason Garrett — the only coach Dak had known as a pro.
To hear him tell it, McCarthy’s resume, highlighted by a Lombardi Trophy, is enough to inspire, particularly after Dallas missed the playoffs for the seventh time in Garrett’s decade on the job. Prescott shared a brief phone conversation with McCarthy, in many ways the antithesis of his predecessor, and is “excited for him to lead our team.”
“He’s got a Super Bowl (in 2010 with the Packers),” Prescott said on Rapoport’s podcast, per the team website. “…When a guy has that and he comes into the locker room to lead, people want to follow. We want to follow because he has something and he knows how to get something that we want.”
Not only does Prescott have a new head coach, but McCarthy undid the entirety of the offensive coaching staff, firing QB coach Jon Kitna and replacing him with former tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier. He also brought in new coaches for the running backs, wide receiver, and offensive line, pink-slipping numerous Garrett holdovers.
The one constant is coordinator Kellen Moore, who McCarthy chose to retain and grant full play-calling autonomy. The system and terminology unchanged, this will help preserve continuity for Prescott, who’s appreciative of the outcome.
“I’m just glad that he made that decision. Kellen’s going to be really good for a long time,” he said.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL