In a phone interview with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones reaffirmed that the team is committed to Prescott despite his season-ending ankle surgery and lengthy recovery period.
“Doesn’t change anything,” Jones told Breer on Wednesday. “We’re all in on trying to get it done. Doesn’t change a thing.”
“It” would be a long-term contract, something the sides failed to finalize prior to this year’s July 15 deadline, prompting Prescott to play the 2020 campaign on his fully-guaranteed $31.4 million franchise tag. Negotiations cannot resume until next offseason, when Dallas has the option of locking down Dak, letting him test the open market, or tagging him again at a cost of $37.7 million.
Jones was insistent that neither the club’s faith in Prescott nor the two-time Pro Bowler’s worth has been altered by his grisly injury.
“Like I said, nothing changes,” he said “There is zero change in his contract negotiation status, how much we want to get him signed. Nothing changes. He didn’t lose value. Nothing. It’s a continual work in progress. Obviously, it’s been a challenge for us, in that we haven’t gotten it done, especially with how bad I know he wants to be a Cowboy.
“And I know how bad we want him to be the leader of this team for the next 10, 12 years.”
No matter the front-facing machinations, Cowboys brass realizes the leverage they re-gained with Prescott on the shelf for up to six months, a rehab timeline that spans the entirety of unrestricted free agency. Those are the words they won’t say aloud.
The ones they will, are all the right ones #forthebrand.
“He’s our future,” Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan. “He’s special. If anyone can overcome anything it will be Dak. It’s something our doctors feel like he’ll overcome, and he’ll come back better than ever.”
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Jerry Responds to New Criticism About Botched Dak Talks
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones again is coming under fire for his failure to sign Prescott to a multi-year deal this past offseason. Appearing Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, Jones echoed Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, saying Prescott’s ailment doesn’t change his status as the franchise cornerstone. But it doesn’t change the cut-throat nature of the industry, either, he reminded.
“We’ve got to be reminded that to have a team, we’ve got to really manage how we dole out our resources,” Jones said. “Dak is deserving of anything that you want to put on a piece of paper, relatively speaking. He’s deserving of that. If you evaluate what he can do to help us win championships, you can see that it’s there. Plus, he’s a leader at the premier leader spot. We’ve got to make it work. So what am I saying? I’m saying exactly the same thing I said the last time I was asked about this before the season started. This is part of the game, the business and the contract part.”
That Dallas couldn’t get Dak to put pen to paper wasn’t for a lack of effort. The club submitted multiple proposals to his camp; the most significant included $110 million in guarantees and between $33-35 million annually across five years. Prescott, seeking a four-year commitment, rebuffed the offers and discussions ultimately were tabled.
“That’s business, and there’s all kind of avenues in business of why it might not get worked out,” Prescott said last month, per Pro Football Talk. “I’m very confident that I’ll be a Cowboy, and as I’ve said before, I plan to be a Cowboy for the rest of my career.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL