Dak Prescott signed an extension with the Dallas Cowboys last offseason but his contract continues to be an interesting topic of conversation.
Prescott inked a four-year extension worth $160 million, which made him the second-highest paid quarterback in the league at the time. However, the market moves quickly and he’s since been surpassed in average annual value by Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen and Derek Carr.
For the Cowboys organization, things get a little more complicated next season when Prescott’s cap hit rises from $19.73 million this year to a whopping $49.13 million. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones made it clear that the Cowboys will be looking to do something about that sooner than later.
“When we had the negotiation with Dak, that was always — it was never really about the money. It was more about the length,” Stephen Jones said during a radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan on September 23. “The more you can spread these contracts out, the more flexibility it gives you. But we’ll certainly look at doing that. I think it’s almost a given that you would be reworking that contract to give you the room that you need to be able to work through the cap next year.”
What that looks like will be the question but Jones said the team is willing to look at everything when it comes to Prescott, who is coming off a season where he passed for 4,000-plus yards and 37 touchdowns.
“He’s our franchise quarterback. We’re always up for looking at anything with Dak,” Stephen Jones said. “We’ll just continue to monitor what this cap situation is going to be like and work with him and [agent] Todd [France] on his business and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Jerry Jones Recently Teased ‘QB Controversy’ in Dallas
The talk about Prescott’s contract came after some recent comments from owner Jerry Jones that welcomed a quarterback controversy in Dallas. Prescott is currently recovering from thumb surgery after suffering an injury in the team’s opener and Cooper Rush is holding down the fort for the Cowboys.
Rush was solid in his second career start last week against the Bengals, completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. Dallas won on a last-second field goal, 20-17.
“If he comes in there and plays as well as Prescott played, Rush played that well over these next games ahead…I’d walk to New York to get that,” Jerry Jones said.
It’s an interesting line of thinking from Jones and probably not what Prescott wants to hear, even if the Cowboys owner said it with a laugh. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy cleared up any sentiment that Prescott’s job could somehow be in jeopardy.
“Clearly, everybody in our locker room and everybody in the building, Jerry (Jones) included, Dak is our quarterback,” McCarthy told reporters. “We want Cooper to be successful as possible. So, I think it stops right there.”
Jerry Jones Says QB Contract Causes Sacrifice
The Cowboys had the luxury of Prescott being on his entry-level deal early in his career, which allowed the team to be flexible around him in terms of spending. Now with Prescott taking up a healthy chunk of the cap, Jerry Jones was clear it affects how they can build the roster.
“The more you pay the quarterback, the teams that pay the big ticket on the quarterback, they have to sacrifice other places,” Jones said during a recent interview. “The facts are there’s no free lunch. Every dollar you spend on a player is a dollar you can’t spend someplace else.”
The Cowboys saw some key pieces move on this offseason, including wide receiver Amari Cooper — who was traded in a cap-saving move for just a fifth-round pick — and defensive end Randy Gregory. Dallas also has a lack of depth at wide receiver, entering the year with CeeDee Lamb as the only player on the active roster with a touchdown catch.
The Cowboys have the fourth-most available cap space in the league at $14.1 million (per Over the Cap).