According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Cowboys are the only team to roster three players who each own an average-per-year (APY) figure of at least $20 million for the 2020 campaign.
This astonishing nugget was conceived after quarterback Dak Prescott signed his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tender on Monday. That money is fully guaranteed, with the entirety counting against Dallas’ salary cap. For now.
If Prescott and the Cowboys reach agreement on a long-term extension, the club could spread out his likely significant cap charges — stemming from a contract which may pay Dak upward of $35 million annually — over the course of four or five years, depending on who caves to who. The deadline to strike a deal is July 15, after which discussions are prohibited until the following offseason.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Ed Werder have both reported in recent days that such negotiations between the sides aren’t close to materializing. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler also reported that “there haven’t been any new developments on that front for a while,” as length and overall value remain the “sticking points.”
As it is, Prescott is cemented as the richest player in single-season franchise history. He also became the NFL’s seventh-highest-paid player in terms of total cash and the highest-paid in base salary, dwarfing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo ($23.8 million), per Spotrac.com.
No wonder he’s grinning.
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Lawrence’s 2020 Contract Breakdown
The sack artist commonly referred to as D-Law landed a five-year, $105 million extension last offseason. The pact included a whopping $65 million guaranteed and a $25 million signing bonus. His APY works out to a clean $21 million.
Both Lawrence’s base salary ($16.9 million) and cap hit ($21.9 million) are slated to balloon in 2020, jumping from last year’s figures of $1.5 million and $11.1 million, respectively.
Entering his age-28 campaign, Lawrence needs to crack double-digit sacks to justify making nearly franchise QB cash, especially after one-and-done-in-Dallas defensive end Robert Quinn severely outpaced Lawrence (five) with a team-leading 12 sacks.
Lawrence addressed his poor 2019 output in an interview last month, boisterously vowing to return to pre-windfall form.
“Nothing happened to me last year,” Lawrence said on FOX Sports 1, via the Dallas Morning News. “I know I ended the season with five sacks, but I also helped other players boost their numbers back up to double digits. It’s not a one-man game, and I know how to play the game the right way. I know how to make plays when plays come my way. And I also know how to make sure my teammates are making their plays. You don’t have to worry about nothing. Trust me, the sack number will be back up.”
Cooper’s 2020 Contract Breakdown
Following a 79-catch, 1,189-yard, six-touchdown season, all the more impressive when you factor in his numerous leg and foot injuries, Cooper was rewarded with a five-year, $100 million contract, as the Cowboys moved quickly to prevent the free agent from bolting elsewhere.
Cooper’s financial ramifications are palatable compared to Lawrence’s; the four-time Pro Bowl wideout has a $10 million base salary and $12 million cap charge. But Cooper cashed in upon putting pen to paper, receiving $60 million in guarantees ($40 million guaranteed at signing) and a $10 million signing bonus.
The staple of Dallas’ passing attack, even with the presence of Michael Gallup and 2020 first-round rookie CeeDee Lamb, Cooper figures to put up huge numbers as Dak Prescott’s safety blanket in year one of the Mike McCarthy regime.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL