While owner/general manager Jerry Jones takes a realistic approach to fluctuating contract talks with quarterback Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones remains the resident optimist.
During an appearance on SportsCenter earlier this week, Jones reaffirmed he “totally believes” Prescott and the Cowboys will reach an agreement — and here’s the qualification — “at the right number” for both sides.
“No one thinks more of Dak Prescott than Jerry Jones and myself. I know [coach] Mike [McCarthy], when he signed on, part of why he signed on was Dak Prescott. It’s just getting it done,” Jones told SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt, via The Athletic and Bleacher Report. The bigger these deals get, Jerry and I have always found that to be the case in business, the bigger the dollars get, the harder they get. We believe in our track record of getting players signed. I totally believe we’ll get Dak signed at the right number that’s good for Dak, good for the Cowboys, good for this team. And I think at the end of the day, the fact that we’re getting some nice hype for our draft, I think he’s going to want to get in here and get with these players, whether it’s CeeDee Lamb or anyone else. He wants to win.”
Deadlocked in discussions since last September, Prescott has reportedly rejected at least two proposals in excess of $33 million annually as he seeks to become the league’s highest-paid signal-caller, a title that currently belongs to Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($35 million per year). Unless Dallas increases its offer or Dak lowers his demand, the parties will continue haggling.
A major hold-up is length; the player prefers a four-year pact, with a chance to hit the market again at 30, while the team wants a five- or six-year deal, standard operating procedure for in-house extensions.
The Cowboys applied the exclusive franchise tag to Prescott on March 16. They have until July 15 to strike a long-term contract. Failing that, the two-time Pro Bowl passer will be forced to play 2020 on the $31.4 million tag, which he’s yet to sign.
Dallas demonstrated a commitment to Prescott in last month’s NFL Draft by failing to use a premium pick on a QB. They waited until the seventh round to select James Madison’s Ben DiNucci, who’s no threat to the starting job and may not even unseat Cooper Rush as the backup.
It remains Prescott’s team — now and later.
“When we’re ready to play, he’ll be there,” Jerry Jones said after the draft of Dak’s contract situation, via ESPN.
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