It was fun while it lasted.
Which granted Dallas vice president Stephen Jones the opportunity to drive a stake through its heart, dashing all hope of landing the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
“Not even a thought,” Jones said during an interview with 103.3 FM ESPN on Friday, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “We’re so, so all in on Dak. [Mike McCarthy] is so all in on Dak. He’s so convicted that [Dak’s] the guy that can help us win championships. He’s putting together a great staff to support him.”
Owens, who spent three seasons in Dallas from 2006-08, strongly campaigned for TB12 to take his talents to North Texas. He advised the club to let Dak Prescott walk in free agency and replace him with Brady, also an impending unrestricted free agent.
Crazy as it sounds, Owens’ logic was rooted in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ inability to reach a long-term deal with Prescott, who set career highs in passing this season and is scheduled to hit the open market for the first time as a pro.
T.O. believes the lack of progress is indicative of an issue that stretches far beyond money.
��He hasn’t extended Dak’s contract,” Owens said of Jones, via Bleacher Report. “So, that leads me to believe he truly doesn’t believe in Dak. If he had, then I think he would have already got a contract extension.”
Prescott reportedly is seeking a contract worth $40 million annually, which would shatter league records. Dallas boasts enough salary-cap space (a projected $81 million) to assuage his financial wants, but they also have the franchise tag at their disposal — and are expected to execute it — should oft-tabled discussions once again bottom out.
Meanwhile, Brady, who’ll one day join Owens in the hallowed halls of Canton, is slated to test the waters after two decades as the Patriots’ championship-stacking QB.
Where he suits up in 2020 remains a mystery. But retirement is out of the question, Brady confirmed Wednesday in a lengthy Instagram post.
“In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You don’t always win,” said Brady, whose Patriots were bounced from the Wild Card round in a stunning loss to the Titans. “You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”
Speculation running rampant, Brady has loosely been linked to various teams, contenders and pretenders alike, including the Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, and the Chicago Bears.
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Stephen Jones Delivers New Decision on Signing Dak
Now that the Cowboys got their coaching situation squared away, they can, and will, turn their attention to head man Mike McCarthy’s new pet project.
In a radio interview with 1310 The Ticket on Friday, vice president Stephen Jones offered an update regarding once-fervent, now-slow-rolling discussions with Prescott.
The sides, according to Jones, were on the precipice of an agreement before the start of the 2019 campaign. And although talks eventually crumbled, creating a nationally-documented standstill, Dallas aims to reach an accord with its “quarterback of the future” this offseason.
“We’ve got to land the plane and get his deal done,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “That’s on Jerry and myself. He’s our future. I think he stepped up and improved in all ways last year. … We went over this in depth with Coach McCarthy and he thinks [Dak] is a top-end, top-caliber quarterback. We can do everything we want to do and more with Dak. [McCarthy] can’t wait to spend time with him. We’ve got to land the plane on his contract and get him signed up sooner than later. He deserves everything he has coming. We got real, real close there to start the season and just didn’t finish up. He’s so laser-focused on wanting to win football games and compete that he really didn’t want the distraction once we didn’t get it done in that first week of going back and forth with the contract. We just got to move forward. He’s our quarterback of the future. I’ll take him any time when you go to war against these guys. We’re fortunate to have him.”
McCarthy Offers Massive Statements on Prescott, Zeke
As Jones mentioned, McCarthy was effusive in his praise of the two-time Pro Bowl passer. The Super Bowl-winning coach conveyed genuine excitement about working with Prescott, who finished second in the league in passing with 4,902 yards, one shy of the team’s all-time single-season record held by Tony Romo.
“What he’s done so far is very impressive,” McCarthy said Wednesday during his introductory press conference, per WFAA’s Mike Leslie. “I think like a lot of us, in the league, you watch people from afar. But when you have a chance to watch a player live, and I can recall his rookie year when we played him in Green Bay, so I’ve always been impressed with him. You’re gonna be able to run the whole offense and then some. And I think he has an incredible foundation to build off of. Our offensive system will be built around making the quarterback successful. That’s the way I’ve learned it, and that’s the way I believe you play offense. We have a great one there to work with.”
In revolving the offense around his signal-caller, McCarthy plans to alleviate some pressure by feeding running back Ezekiel Elliott. Whereas incumbent offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and ex-head coach Jason Garrett failed to best incorporate the two superstars, McCarthy (rightly) believes they go hand-in-hand. A potent aerial attack will create more rushing lanes, and vice versa.
“He’s going to get the football,” McCarthy said of Elliott. “Make no mistake about that.”
Now that he has a true workhorse at his disposal — the league’s fourth-leading rusher (1,357 yards), a caliber of player he never owned in Green Bay — McCarthy won’t shy away from making him a focal point, rather than heap the entirety of the offense upon Prescott’s shoulders.
Such is the reason it’s extremely unlikely, after landing an offensive-minded HC, the Cowboys swap a 26-year-old just reaching his prime for a 42-year-old who’s fighting against — and losing to — Father Time.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL