Jerry Jones Responds to New Criticism About Failed Dak Prescott Deal

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Getty Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones again is coming under fire for his failure to sign now-injured quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term contract this past offseason.

Appearing Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, Jones echoed Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, saying Prescott’s season-ending ankle ailment doesn’t alter the team’s view of him as its franchise cornerstone. But it also doesn’t change the cut-throat nature of negotiations.

“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.”

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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 the sides were unable to reach an agreement before the July 15 deadline.

The two-time Pro Bowler opted to play the 2020 season on his fully-guaranteed $31.4 million franchise tag with the hope of parlaying another big statistical campaign into an extremely lucrative payday — upward of $40 million per year.

“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.”

Forced to table talks until season’s end, Cowboys have the option to tag Prescott again in 2021 at a cost of $37.7 million, make a new contract proposal, or simply let him shop his wares on an open market recovering from the financial impact of COVID-19.

The Road Ahead

Prescott, 27, is facing a four-to-six-month rehab process after suffering a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Sunday’s win over the Giants. He underwent emergency surgery Sunday night and was discharged from the hospital Monday afternoon.

“Physically, I’m told by the doctors by our own experience of seeing this injury, physically there should be no problem with him being back out there in early May or April,” Jerry Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan.

“If you look ahead, he should be ready to go for our spring work – the latter part of the spring work. But knowing Dak – and that’s a big part of this thing – knowing Dak and his makeup, he’ll be back out there soon.”

Several NFL players and personalities rushed to Dak’s defense — and took the offensive against Jones — upon his gruesome injury. Giants defensive back Logan Ryan, having tackled Prescott on his final snap of the season, said “I hope he gets $500 million when he comes back,” while former Cowboys defender Jason Hatcher admonished both the Dallas front office and Prescott’s agent, Todd France, who “needs to be fired.”

“There’s no way in the world that his team should have allowed him to bet on himself during this situation,” Hatcher said, per TMZ. “He should’ve been in a comfortable situation with a long-term deal. Now, he’s gotta start all back over again, rewind four years back when he came in as a rookie and prove himself all over again and he can play again and he can work through an injury or whatever.”

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Cowboys ‘Unlikely’ to Trade for QB

The void left behind by Prescott won’t be filled via trade, Jerry Jones confirmed Monday, saying such a deal is “unlikely” to materialize prior to the Nov. 3 deadline.

Dallas did make a move, signing former Texas standout Garrett Gilbert off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad. Gilbert will function as the No. 3 QB behind new starter Andy Dalton and seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci.

“We’ve got our quarterback in Andy Dalton,” Jones affirmed.

READ NEXT: Jerry Jones Announces Expected Return Date for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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