When the Dallas Cowboys ended the 2022 season owner Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones openly talked about wanting to sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a contract extension before the 2023 season.
With no deal done in the offseason and during training camp, the front office said they would be open to doing business with Prescott during the season.
Now, Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones are saying it’s best for the Cowboys to push a possible Prescott deal off until 2024.
Both acknowledge that is something that must be addressed.
Considering Prescott’s $59 million cap hit in 2024, a new deal is needed to lower his cap figure so they can sign other players, especially with deals for receiver CeeDee Lamb and linebacker Micah Parsons on the horizon.
Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones had differing reasons of why the Cowboys plan to wait on their radio shows on 105.3 The Fan Friday.
Jerry Jones said he would have to “cut four players” to give Prescott a contract extension before the end of the 2023 season and not interested in doing that because “I want to use those players this year to win now.”
But in the escalating market for quarterbacks, Prescott’s price tag is only going to increase the longer the Cowboys wait.
When Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million contract in 2022 he was the league’s second-highest paid player at $40 million annually.
Now, he is in a three-way tie for 10th.
Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens at next at $52.5 million and $52 million per season, respectively, following by Jalen Hurts of the Eagles at $51 million.
All four of those deal were done in the last five months.
When asked about getting Prescott down before the price jumped again, Stephen Jones said “the best thing for us” it to wait until 2024 and try to get the quarterback signed to an extension of at least five years of more to help spread out the cap hit.
A Parsons deal would likely top the recent extension for San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, paying him $34 million annually as the higgest paid defender in NFL history.
“We have certainly digested it,” Stephen Jones said. “If you wait one more year, and then the key for us is going to be spreading out how we pay that. Most of these guys have some long-term type deals, five-plus years. I think if we can do that, it’ll be not only advantageous for the team as a whole, but advantageous for Dak so that we can continue to put the type of players, give him the offensive linemen he needs to protect him, give him the weapons he needs to move the football and certainly have a defense that can get the ball back for him.
“No one understands that better than Dak, in terms of we got to get a guy like Micah Parsons signed. Obviously, our eyes are glued to not only a (Justin) Herbert deal and a (Joe) Burrow deal, but also a (Nick) Bosa deal. We’ve got one of the great defensive players in the league as well. All those things are things we keep our eyes on.”
Of course, just because the Cowboys say they can’t do something during the season doesn’t mean they won’t.
File Friday’s salvo on the radio on the eve of the season opener as a public plea in negotiations with Prescott, who has all the leverage.
The $59 million cap means the Cowboys have to address his deal.
And if they don’t meet his number, he can simply play out the last season of his contract under the current terms, leaving the team with no certainty of a future at quarterback.
Prescott has a no-trade clause and a clause in his deal that the Cowboys can’t place the franchise tag on him.