No hard feelings. No bad blood. Water under the bridge. Pick a cliche, and it applies to Dak Prescott.
Made available to the media for the first time since January, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback reiterated his commitment to the organization despite being unsigned beyond the 2020 season.
“Business is business, and once I’m in the locker room and part of what’s going on now, I don’t focus too much about the future,” Prescott said Wednesday, via Pro Football Talk. “It’s more about today. So with that being said, I’m excited to be a Dallas Cowboy. I’ve been a fan of this organization. I’ve been a fan of this program for years. I love every bit of the opportunity and the platform that I get to be the quarterback here. I love this team. I’m excited about what we can do and accomplish this year. No frustration as far as that. Once again, I believe something will get done, and I also believe I’ll be a Dallas Cowboy for the rest of my career.”
The Cowboys and Prescott failed to reach a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline. Months of haggling ultimately “forced” the former Pro Bowl into playing the upcoming campaign on his fully-guaranteed $31.4 million franchise tag. The parties can not negotiate until next offseason when Prescott either will hit unrestricted free agency or get tagged again — at a cost of $37.7 million.
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Corona Cratered Talks
Prescott, who claimed after the deadline passed that he “couldn’t be happier” to remain in Dallas, conceded “there are reasons probably [a deal] didn’t get done from both sides.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, which presented the league with unprecedented financial hurdles, was one of those reasons, owner Jerry Jones admitted. These uncertain times made it unfeasible to cut a nine-digit check, deserving as Prescott might be.
“I don’t even want to be glib or trite when I say that’s a part of professional sports is sitting down, talking about the money. That’s a part of that,” Jones said, via PFT. “Dak is outstanding. He’s probably one of the top people that I’ve been around for his age and his cumulative experience. . . . We think he’s outstanding. We think he’s our quarterback of the future. We just couldn’t get together at this particular time. I think it’s easily worth nothing that a lot of people this year in the franchise mode didn’t get together. One of the biggest reasons is the backdrop of COVID. One of the biggest reasons is the economic issue. I’ve just spent weeks and weeks, a part of this rasp voice on the phone, talking with the NFL and the players association, working through the economic consequences and candidly, nobody knows what’s going to be there next year or next year or the next year. Frankly, we all know that what we were talking about in Dak’s case is the next year and the next year and the next year and the next year. So all of that came to bear, and this was just less than stable time to be talking about serious, serious — generational if you will, to use Dak’s term — dollars in an unknown period of time looking forward. That certainly was one of the issues.”
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