Cowboys' Stephen Jones: Dak Prescott Wise to Bet on Himself in Contract Talks

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 11, 2020

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) passes during an NFL training camp football practice in Frisco, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that quarterback Dak Prescott "bet on himself and bet wisely" amid ongoing long-term contract negotiations between the two sides.

On his radio show on 105.3 The Fan on Friday (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), Jones said:

"But in general, barring something like that where we really continue to struggle from a—if we struggle from a revenue standpoint of no fans and reduced revenue—then that could affect his situation. But other than that, I mean, he's bet on himself and bet wisely. He's answered every bell, every call. I think anyone would tell you. I think Dak would tell you. I think his agent would tell you. We've put some very, very generous offers on the table."

Per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, Dallas offered a deal worth an average salary of $33 million and $105 million in guarantees in March.

And Jane Slater of NFL Network reported in July that Dallas had an offer between $33 million and $35 million in average salary as well as over $100 million in guarantees.

Per Jones, the hangup seems to surround the length of the contract:

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"It's more a principal-type situation on length of term. I think everyone's got their hand around that's the problem, and obviously we want a long-term deal because we can spread the money out over more years and give us more years under the salary cap so we can keep these young team, these young players that we have in and around Dak.

"At the same time, he wants a shorter-term deal because he sees how successful the league has been. The sooner you come up for contract, the sooner you will come up for a bigger raise. That's been the history of the NFL. So he's not at fault either."

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported in July that the Cowboys' latest offer then was for more years than Prescott wanted.

"Have nothing but respect for where he's been and up to this point, I don't think it's hurt anybody," Jones continued. "He's obviously made a lot of money this year, and we all know he's going to make a whole lot more money in the future, and certainly we want it to be right here in Dallas."

Prescott is playing on an exclusive franchise tag this season after signing his tender on June 22. The two sides had until July 15 to come to a long-term contract agreement that would encompass this season but were unable to do so, so Prescott is essentially playing on a one-year, $31.4 million deal.

In the interim, a few quarterbacks have signed megadeals, including the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes (10-year, $450 million contract extension) and the Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson (four-year, $156 million contract extension).

While Mahomes, the 2018 regular-season MVP and last year's Super Bowl MVP, is in his own contract stratosphere as the game's best and most valuable player, Prescott could land a fat deal that surpasses Watson's with another good season.

The former Mississippi State star has gone 40-24 for Dallas in four seasons, leading the Cowboys to a pair of NFC East titles. He's completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 7.6 yards per attempt and 97 touchdowns (to just 36 interceptions). He's also a threat on the ground, rushing for 1,221 yards and 21 scores.

Prescott and the Cowboys open the 2020 season at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.