Dak Prescott

Latest On Cowboys, Dak Prescott

Wideout CeeDee Lamb is absent from the Cowboys’ OTAs as he seeks a new contract. Quarterback Dak Prescott is likewise a pending free agent, but he is in attendance amidst questions regarding his future in Dallas.

The 2023 MVP-runner up has no-trade and no-tag clauses, giving him considerable leverage in talks with the Cowboys. Prescott is not close to a new agreement being worked out, and owner Jerry Jones is remaining patient with respect to the top of the quarterback and receiver markets shaking out. Prescott appears to be open to reaching free agency next offseason, and his most recent comments confirm he is not focused on his contract at the moment.

“I don’t play for money. Never have never cared for it, to be honest with you,” the 30-year-old said, via ESPN’s Todd Archer“Would give it up just to play this game. So, I allow that to the business people to say what it’s worth, what they’re supposed to give a quarterback of my play, a person of my play, a leader of my play. For me, it’s about, as I said, control what I can control and handle that part and the rest will take care of itself.”

Four quarterbacks reached the $50MM-per-year mark last offseason on extensions representing their second NFL contracts. Veteran Jared Goff recently joined that group; his new Lions pact (the third of his career) carries an annual average value of $53MM. That contract, coupled with the continued growth of the salary cap, offers reason for Prescott to anticipate a major raise compared to the four-year, $160MM deal he signed in 2021.

Both team and player will be hoping for a smoother negotiating process this time around, but Archer confirms there have still yet to be “meaningful discussions” on a Prescott accord. The Cowboys envision the three-time Pro Bowler remaining as their signal-caller beyond 2024, and ensuring that will require the parties gaining traction later this offseason for this storyline to be resolved before the campaign starts. Dallas’ financial planning, of course, must also take into account deals for Lamb and edge rusher Micah Parsons, both of which will at least bring them close to the top of their respective markets.

“I think it depends on personal relationships and position and how much that pay can affect others, understanding where I am, what my pay means to a team and to an organization,” Prescott added. “I don’t really take things personal. Maybe in my first deal, maybe things were a little different than they are now. One, it’s my age and who I am, where I am in my life… The understanding that I have a lot of decision in this, too. I have a lot of say-so, too.”

The extent to which Prescott wields his leverage will be a key factor in contract talks. His remarks demonstrate an awareness of the impact his next deal will have on the Cowboys’ cap situation, and with the Goff according providing a measuring stick the parties could have starting point for serious negotiations. When those take place and the progress they provide will be worth monitoring closely.

Jerry Jones On Cowboys’ Financial Approach

The Cowboys’ lack of outside additions in free agency and movement in terms of extending their top players has been a key talking point this offseason. Many of Dallas’ younger in-house options will be counted on to take a step forward in 2024, while plenty of attention remains focused on the financial futures of quarterback Dak Prescott, wideout CeeDee Lamb and edge rusher Micah Parsons.

To no surprise, owner Jerry Jones has faced plenty of questions related to Dallas’ comparative inaction on the market in 2024. Linebacker Eric Kendricks and running back Royce Freeman represent the only veterans brought in to date, and the team’s tight cap situation is a key reason why. As Jones recently stated, retaining any or all members of the Prescott-Lamb-Parsons trio will lead to notable complications elsewhere on the roster.

“Our rules of this game is to have a salary cap,” Jones said, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota (subscription required). “There’s no question we’ve been operating on the credit card. That’s how we’ve had Dak Prescott plus his great supporting cast around him for the last three or four years… So if you decide to have a key player and you pay him to that extent, then he’s going to have less supporting cast around. Look around. That’s the way it works.

“We have known that you were going to basically have to have less in order to have some of the players that we want to have at the prices they are. You got to have less supporting cast. There’s no getting around it.”

The Cowboys have indeed enjoyed having Lamb and Parsons on their rookie contracts while retaining Prescott at a high cap hit. The latter is in line to play out 2024 on the final year of his pact, and while Dallas is hopeful a new agreement can be worked out, the 30-year-old recently suggested he is open to reaching free agency. Prescott could command $60MM per year on a new accord, and Lamb and Parsons could each approach the top of the market at their respective positions.

Especially in recent years, many teams around the league have attempted to get ahead of the curve by locking up top producers early and leaving others to react to a new price point. Jones confirmed the Cowboys are instead taking a different approach with their foundational players. In the case of Prescott and Lamb in particular, Dallas is content to wait for the next wave of new deals.

“We’d like to see some more leaves fall,” Jones added. “We’d like to see some more action… It’s on your mind. It’d be madness not to know that the contracts are ahead. I want to see a few more cards played, candidly. If you got trouble with when the timing is around here, it’s because I’m not ready to go.”

The top of the QB market has surpassed $50MM per season, while the league’s ascending receivers are benefiting from the position’s lucrative nature. Recent extensions for the likes of DeVonta Smith, Amon-Ra St. Brown and A.J. Brown have offered a potential framework for a Lamb deal. The likes of Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle could also push the top of the market even higher.

Lamb is absent from Dallas’ offseason program amidst the lack of negotiations on an extension. Given the way things are headed from a financial standpoint, any new deal (which could avoided for several months since he is set to play out his fifth-year option in 2024) will drastically alter Dallas’ cap situation. That is certainly true of Prescott and Parsons as well (both of whom also are still firmly in the team’s long-term plans), but a patient approach will apparently remain the Cowboys’ preference.

Dak Prescott Addresses Cowboys Talks

While both the Cowboys and Dak Prescott once expressed optimism in a long-term extension, there hasn’t been any recent progress in negotiations. The organization previously declared that they weren’t going to let their franchise QB hit free agency, but with owner Jerry Jones drawing an apparent line in the sand, it’s no longer a guarantee that Dak is playing in Dallas in 2025.

[RELATED: Cowboys Do Not Intend To Let Dak Prescott Reach Free Agency]

The quarterback acknowledged the fact that the 2024 campaign could mark his final season in Dallas. While speaking with reporters yesterday, Prescott at least hinted that he could hit free agency following the upcoming season.

“I’m not going to say I fear being here or not. I don’t fear either situation, to be candid with you,” Prescott said (via NFL.com’s Coral Smith). “I love this game and love to play and love to better myself as a player and my teammates around me. Right now it’s with the Dallas Cowboys, it’s where I want to be, and that’s where I am, and that’s the focus. And after the season we’ll see where we’re at and if the future holds that. And if not, we’ll go from there.”

Entering the final season of his four-year, $160MM contract, Prescott could push for a new deal that’s close to $60MM per year. Jones has previously complained that the growing QB contracts limit spending elsewhere on the roster, and it sounds like the owner/GM is hoping Prescott will end up taking a slight discount on his next deal. With the QB market now beyond the $50MM AAV mark, it’s uncertain how much money the Cowboys would look to save on the veteran’s next deal. Prescott seems to be somewhat open to a discount, telling reporters that he’s “not trying to be the highest paid, necessarily.”

Prescott did confirm that he’s had talks with Jones and the Cowboys front office, although those conversations didn’t necessarily revolve around specific numbers. It’s uncertain if either side would be interesting in continuing talks into the regular season, but the quarterback has made it clear that he’ll soon be entirely focused on the 2024 campaign.

“Honestly, I’m focused on the moment, on the now,” Prescott said. “If the talks begin and real talks get to happen, sure, we can talk about getting that done, but in this case right now I’m worried about getting better, being better than I am at this moment. So leaving that up to my agent and Jerry at this point.”

In addition to Prescott, the Cowboys are also hoping to extend linebacker Micah Parsons and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, a pair of contracts that will further soak up the team’s financial wiggle room. The Cowboys won’t have the ability to franchise tag Prescott after this season, and considering the impending financial implications of a QB extension, the organization will surely be focused on completing that deal first.

Cowboys Do Not Intend To Let Dak Prescott Reach Free Agency

More is coming out of the Cowboys-Dak Prescott situation. Although no offer has been made and no deal is imminent, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson supplies some information in line with the team’s recently expressed stance.

The Cowboys still want to complete an extension with Prescott this year, according to Anderson, who adds the team is not planning on letting the reigning MVP runner-up reach free agency. Some hurdles exist on the path toward a Prescott extension, but even though nothing is close presently, the Cowboys should still be considered more likely than not to aggressively pursue a third contract with their quarterback before the 2025 league year.

[RELATED: Cowboys, Dak Prescott Begin Extension Talks]

As he did during the first round of Prescott extension talks, Jerry Jones made a pitch for a team-friendly deal this week. Jones centered that short pitch on how a monster Dak re-up would affect the rest of the Cowboys’ roster, but while Patrick Mahomes has indeed sacrificed (in the form of a 10-year extension that goes through 2031), none of the QBs to agree on extensions since that July 2020 accord have followed his lead. While some upper-crust QBs did not hold out for player-friendly accords (Josh Allen, Matthew Stafford), the market is now beyond $50MM per year for high-end passers. Prescott’s age and production would have him in line for such a deal — perhaps close to $60MM per year — and he certainly has the ammo to land player-friendly terms again.

Entering the final season of a four-year, $160MM contract, Prescott cannot be franchise-tagged in 2025. A recent restructure only saved the Cowboys $4MM, still leaving Prescott with what would be a record-shattering cap number ($55.1MM). This is assuming the Browns restructure Deshaun Watson‘s deal, which calls for a $63.8MM hit this year. If Prescott leaves in free agency, the Cowboys would eat $40.1MM in dead money due to previous restructures that added void years through 2028.

Positional value also works in Prescott’s favor. Despite the Cowboys’ playoff stumbling blocks — which have been present since Super Bowl XXX — remaining during the Dak era, they employ a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who bounced back in a big way last season. The 30-year-old QB led the NFL with 36 TD passes in 2023; he has piloted the league’s top-ranked scoring offense in two of the past three years. The Cowboys, who have Trey Lance on an expiring contract, would not have a good way to replace their oft-maligned signal-caller were he to follow Kirk Cousins‘ path as a twice-tagged player to leave in free agency.

Deadlines have been semi-effective for the Cowboys and Prescott. The team could not get its QB to agree to a deal at the July 2020 franchise tag extension deadline but was able to circle back on an extension — after three offseasons’ worth of negotiations — before a second tag could hit the team’s payroll in March 2021. March 2025 would become the next true deadline, but another big season and the threat of hitting the market would only increase Prescott’s leverage. A deal earlier — one that would allow the Cowboys more breathing room compared to this $55.1MM cap number — would be in the team’s best interests, effectively creating an earlier deadline here.

Nothing is imminent, but given the numbers in play here, the topic of a Prescott extension will remain a key offseason talking point — just as it was from 2019-21 — during this NFL offseason.

No Extension In Sight For Cowboys, Dak Prescott

5:54pm: The Cowboys are not closing the door on a Prescott extension, per Nick Harris of the team’s website. The team would not shut down talks during the season, though it remains to be seen if Prescott would do so. Nothing is on the team’s immediate radar, and past negotiations have produced deadline failures (2020) and successes (2021). This will obviously be a central storyline in the offseason months to come.

12:47pm: The last time the Cowboys and Dak Prescott engaged in extension talks, the process covered nearly two full offseasons and dragged into mid-March of a third. Long expected to take place this year, Prescott’s second round of negotiations are not yet off the ground.

Dallas restructured its ninth-year quarterback’s contract recently, dropping his cap number from $59MM to $55.5MM. The new number would still smash an NFL record, as no player has gone into a season with a cap number higher than $45MM. An extension would be the easiest way for the Cowboys to reduce that figure now, but no deal is imminent.

The sides have reached an understanding regarding this situation, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who notes the Cowboys have not made an offer. Although extension talks began recently, the team does not appear the team is planning to submit one anytime soon.

Prescott’s contract expires after the 2024 season, and with the Cowboys not being able to use the franchise tag on their QB in 2025, free agency (and a big dead money bill) would stand to enter this equation if the former Offensive Rookie of the Year is unsigned. As of now, that prospect seems closer to reality than it once did.

The 30-year-old QB is no stranger to playing on expiring contracts. He played out his rookie deal in 2019 and played the 2020 season on the franchise tag. Despite suffering a season-ending ankle injury that year, the standout passer scored player-friendly terms from a Cowboys team that prefers longer-running extensions. Prescott signed a four-year, $160MM deal just before the Cowboys would have had to tag him a second time to prevent a 2021 free agency exit.

That deal wrapped a lengthy saga, which had begun when the QB became extension-eligible in 2019, but set the stage for another battle. As part of that 2021 extension, the Cowboys procedurally tagged Prescott; this took a 2025 tag off the table.

Jerry Jones would prefer his QB accept a team-friendlier contract this time around. This topic came up during Dallas’ previous Prescott talks, but the team eventually caved to its signal-caller’s demands. Prescott’s price steadily climbed before reaching that $40MM-AAV point. With the market now well beyond $50MM per year, Prescott has the leverage to command a deal in that neighborhood — perhaps a record-setting accord.

As you address a player like Dak, you take away from his supporting cast,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill. “That’s not a sales job. Everybody realizes, if you get the bucks, someone else who can help you win doesn’t. That’s factual.”

Painting Prescott to be on the greedy side certainly could be a negotiating tactic on Jones’ part, as Patrick Mahomes‘ 10-year extension has benefited the Chiefs. But other QBs have not followed Mahomes’ lead. And the Cowboys will be battling uphill if they push this process toward the season. The Browns have not yet restructured Deshaun Watson‘s deal a second time; his fully guaranteed contract has the team set to carry a record-shattering $63.9MM cap number otherwise. If the deal is restructured, Prescott’s cap number would top the league. But the AFC North team did restructure its QB’s deal last year. Watson is also signed through 2026. Like Kirk Cousins, tagged twice in Washington, Prescott would have a clear path to free agency if no extension came about.

The Vikings are eating $28.5MM in dead cap this year; because of the recent restructure, the Cowboys would take on $40.5MM in dead money if they cannot extend Prescott before the 2025 league year. Due to his age and accomplishments, Prescott would stand to far outdo Cousins on the open market. The prospect of finding a suitable replacement also a rather notable part of this equation.

The Cowboys acquired Trey Lance via trade last year, but the ex-49ers No. 3 overall pick’s contract expires after this coming season. Again armed with a quality roster, Prescott will — barring injury — likely have Dallas in playoff contention, which would not give the team favorable draft real estate in 2025. While it would be easier to extend CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons with Prescott out of the picture, his 2025 dead money would make it more difficult to carry a top-market Lamb contract and a Parsons fifth-year option on the books next year.

While it would certainly be noteworthy if the Cowboys were serious about letting Prescott play out his contract, the leverage being skewed toward the QB make it premature to indicate Dallas is done negotiating.

Cowboys Restructure Dak Prescott’s Contract

Talks on a Dak Prescott extension are ongoing, and the Cowboys would likely see significant cap savings in 2024 by working out a new deal. The team’s alternative, of course, has remained a restructure to lower Prescott’s cap charge in case a long-term arrangement cannot be worked out.

Dallas has indeed taken the latter route, as detailed by ESPN’s Field Yates. The Cowboys converted a $5MM roster bonus Prescott was owed on Sunday into a signing bonus, creating $4MM in cap space. As a result, the 2023 MVP runner-up’s cap charge now sits at $55.46MM, a figure which more than doubles the amount from last season.

Two void years were tacked onto Prescott’s deal, Yates adds. As a result, void years now extend into 2028 on the contract as currently structured. Yates’ colleague Dan Graziano notes Prescott’s permission was required to add void years, so this short-term agreement is a sign the parties remain willing to work out more permanent solution. The parties are discussing a deal, although owner Jerry Jones has publicly stated he is prepared to carry out the season with Prescott carrying a massive cap hit. The latter has considerable leverage given his no-tag and no-trade clauses coupled with the 2024 cap relief an extension would yield.

The $4MM in immediate savings will become dead money next year in the event Prescott were to depart in free agency. If that were to be the case, the Cowboys would be hit with roughly $40MM in cap charges, another factor which will no doubt influence extension efforts on the team’s part. Dallas also has monster second contracts to work out with wideout CeeDee Lamb and edge rusher Micah Parsons, both of whom are now eligible for a deal keeping them in place beyond their respective rookie pacts.

2023 trade acquisition Trey Lance will remain in place for the coming season, and he is set to occupy the backup quarterback role as a result. Prescott’s play as Dallas’ starter in 2024 will be a key determinant in the value of his next contract if he and the Cowboys are not able to agree to a new deal this spring. Even with this small move aimed at providing short-term flexibility, though, an extension remains firmly on the table.

Cowboys, QB Dak Prescott Begin Extension Talks

Free agency has opened and the draft is rapidly approaching, but the Cowboys have another focus weighing heavily on their plate: a potential extension to the contract of quarterback Dak Prescott. According to a report from Calvin Watkins at Dallas Morning News today, Cowboys executive vice president, CEO, and director of player personnel Stephen Jones claimed that the team has had some talks with Prescott about an extension.

Now, we’ve reported plenty on mutual interest between the two parties in an extension and the seeming inevitability of a new deal in the spring, but lately, more and more sources seem to be of the opinion that an extension isn’t certain. ESPN’s Dan Graziano claimed two weeks ago that he was not convinced it was a sure thing.

While it certainly makes the most sense for the organization as it attempts to avoid a $59.46MM cap hit (the second-largest for the 2024 season), Prescott has more leverage than the team would like to admit. Prescott heads into a contract year and also holds a clause in his contract that prohibits the Cowboys from applying the franchise tag on him when his deal is up. Graziano points out that Prescott hasn’t been an easy sell in the past, either, so it’s not likely that we’ll see him waive that clause for the ease of the deal.

Team owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones spoke on the topic to the media at the NFL scouting combine, as well. “We don’t need to (extend Prescott),” Jones said, “but we can if everybody wants to solve (our cap space issue). You can get in and get on the same page and see if you can come to an agreement. If you can’t, what we have in place works. And so obviously, if you do it one way, you’ll be working through some of the other areas on the team in a different way, but you can’t really plan on that until you see when you’re there.”

Jones made sure to clarify that, should an extension not come to fruition, he doesn’t believe it changes to team’s long-term future plans. He still believes that Prescott can be the future in Dallas, but his comments seem to put a lot of responsibility on Prescott to be a team player, or else that money will have to come from elsewhere.

If a deal can’t get done, Graziano speculates that Dallas could convert some of Prescott’s 2024 base salary into a signing bonus in a restructured contract in order to save about $18.5MM. The team would have to be able to do that, though, without adding any additional void years to the three already on the tail-end of his current deal. Doing this could result in a potential $55MM cap hit in 2025, even though Prescott would not be under contract for that season and could possibly be playing elsewhere.

With all this in the forefront, another factor to keep in mind is the recent allegations of sexual assault involving Prescott. According to Watkins and his colleague, Lana Ferguson, Dallas police are investigating claims that Prescott raped a woman in the parking lot of a Dallas strip club in 2017. Nearby, Prosper police are reportedly looking into claims from Prescott that he is being extorted by that same woman for $100MM. Investigations are likely to follow, but for now, both the NFL and the Cowboys have declined to comment on the situation.

Dak Prescott Extension Coming In Spring?

At this point, it’s become fully clear that both the Cowboys and the quarterback Dak Prescott are intent on further extending their time together. With that expectation fully established, we can turn our attention to what that could look like and when that could occur.

The Cowboys have no intention of letting Prescott leave Dallas. The Cowboys are likely also not too excited about the $59.4MM hit to the team’s salary cap that Prescott is posed to deliver in 2024, the second-highest figure in the league. Those two motivators are sure to steer Dallas in the direction of an extension and soon. This week is known as an opportunity for agents to get together with team officials at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis to broach such topics.

Obviously, no one is expecting a deal to get done in the next few days, though. Prescott is due a $5MM roster bonus on his current contract come March 18, but the Cowboys are likely more than willing to sacrifice that for a bit more time to craft a new extension. Still, Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News claims that the team has every intention “of extending Prescott at some point this spring.” So whatever discussions are being had in the infamous Cowboys team bus in Indianapolis this week should lay the groundwork to get a new deal done relatively soon.

Prescott’s previous four-year, $160MM extension back in 2021 was massive at the time, but nowadays, the deal pales in comparison to the most recent contracts we’ve seen going to passers that are starting to inch towards $60MM per year. Currently, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow holds the league’s highest annual average value at $55MM. Yes, Burrow has led his team to a berth in the Super Bowl to earn that figure, but Chargers passer Justin Herbert is making $52.5MM per year with a regular season record of 30-32 and a loss in his single playoff appearance.

In comparison, Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 74-41 regular season record and five playoff appearances. People will draw attention to the 30-year-old’s 2-5 playoff record and the team’s inability to advance past the Divisional Round, but other quarterbacks have cashed in more with less. Also, despite the lack of playoff success, in 2023, Prescott led his team to their best record since his rookie year and led the league in completions and passing touchdowns. The expectation is that Prescott will once again set the mark for quarterbacks.

With how things are trending, a $60MM per year deal doesn’t seem out of reach. It’s simply the direction things continue to go towards. Yes, the Cowboys have other stars like Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb who will need new deals in the next two years, as well, but unless a team is willing to go back to a rookie contract and start from scratch, they will need to pay their quarterback. The higher-than-expected increase to the league’s salary cap this year makes $60MM a bit more palatable, and future rises to future salary caps make deals with Parsons and Lamb seem doable, as well. Not to mention that a new deal would result in a lower cap hit in 2024 for Prescott, freeing the Cowboys up to make some other moves to improve the team this offseason.

So, we expect conversations to be taking place this week to set the stage for a Prescott extension sometime this spring. And we expect that extension to once again move the bar for paying quarterbacks in the NFL. At this point, it all seems like a matter of time and details.

Mutual Extension Interest Between Cowboys, Dak Prescott

Although the Cowboys have come up short in back-to-back road games against quality opponents, they have seen a bounce-back season from Dak Prescott. The clock on a Prescott extension is ticking, as 2024 presents an unfavorable situation for the team.

Prescott is signed through the ’24 season, but as detailed previously, the Cowboys have given their quarterback leverage that perhaps no active NFLer can match. Prescott is set to carry a $59.5MM 2024 cap number — which would shatter an NFL record — and holds a no-trade clause. Having been tagged in 2020 and ’21, Prescott will not be a tag candidate in 2025. These components, coupled with the quality season the eighth-year veteran has put together, set the stage for the NFL’s salary ceiling being raised again soon.

Joe Burrow‘s $55MM-per-year contract checked in $2.5MM north of the bar Justin Herbert set this offseason. Despite the four QBs who signed big-ticket extensions this offseason all being at least four years younger than Prescott, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz notes the Bengals’ Burrow deal will likely be considered the floor for a Prescott contract (video link).

Mutual interest exists between Prescott and the Cowboys on a new deal, Schultz adds. As of late November, the sides had not begun discussions. The Cowboys have until March 2025 before Prescott becomes a free agent, but the team will likely push to finalize an agreement well before that point. Prescott, 30, maximized his leverage when he signed his current four-year, $160MM deal in 2021. After two years of failed negotiations, the QB did not re-sign until just before the 2021 deadline to tag players. The Cowboys tagged Prescott a second time as a procedural matter, making another tag — no player has been tagged three times since the 2006 CBA made that route prohibitive — out of the equation.

Prescott leads the NFL with 30 touchdown passes, giving him a third season with at least 30, and sits behind only Brock Purdy and Josh Allen in QBR. How the Cowboys fare in the playoffs will obviously be pivotal to Prescott’s reputation, a matter constantly scrutinized due to the team’s popularity, but he will enter the 2024 offseason in commanding position regardless of how Dallas’ season concludes.

The team took care of Trevon Diggs and Terence Steele this offseason, along with ending Zack Martin‘s holdout with player-friendly guarantee terms. Prescott and CeeDee Lamb are squarely on Dallas’ extension radar for 2024, with Micah Parsons also becoming extension-eligible next year. Lamb is having an All-Pro-caliber season, while Parsons will command a defender-record deal. Prescott’s leverage complicates those contract timelines, and the Cowboys have the luxury of waiting until 2025 on Parsons — due to the fifth-year option — and would have a 2025 tag available for Lamb.

With each of the team’s three prime-years pillars on the extension radar for 2024, the Cowboys are set for another high-stakes offseason. Prescott finishing up his ’23 campaign strong will only strengthen his case for a deal that tops Burrow’s and approaches the $60MM-AAV mark.

Cowboys’ Jerry Jones Addresses Dak Prescott Contract Talks

The Cowboys have once again positioned themselves as a candidate to make a deep postseason run. Much of the team’s success has come from the play of quarterback Dak Prescott, who finds himself firmly in the MVP conversation.

Prescott’s play has also set him up well for negotiations on a new contract. Talks on that front have long been expected to be put on hold until the offseason. A report from last month confirmed no discussions had taken place between the Cowboys and the two-time Pro Bowler, who has played his way into a lucrative new pact over the course of this season. One year remains on Prescott’s deal, but his untenable $59.5MM 2024 cap hit leaves him in need of an extension.

During his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan, owner Jerry Jones spoke on the subject of a Prescott deal. Working one out will be a top priority for the team not only to keep him in place for years to come, but to also establish cost certainty under center with the likes of edge rusher Micah Parsons and wideout CeeDee Lamb also in line for extensions. Jones’ remarks present an optimistic tone with respect to an agreement being reached in the relatively near future.

“Don’t pay any attention to discussion,” Jones said, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota“It’s meaningless. The only thing that is factual here is what I decide and what we decide as a team and what Dak decides… We know exactly where we are on the contract, years left on the contract and we should be, and are, about as close on that type of communication.”

Jones noted that the timing of a deal “remains to be seen,” but the early portion of the new league year in March represents a logical deadline. Prescott is due a $5MM roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2024 league year, so it would come as no surprise if an agreement were to be reached by that point. Especially with the leverage the 30-year-old has generated this season, though, a second Cowboys extension will require a lucrative commitment.

The quarterback market saw another jump over the course of the 2023 offseason. Four young passers (Jalen HurtsLamar JacksonJustin Herbert and Joe Burrow) leapfrogged each other as the league’s highest-paid players in terms of AAV. Patrick Mahomes then worked out a restructure to his Chiefs pact which moved him higher up the pecking order at the position, one which now has four players averaging at least $51MM per season.

Prescott’s current contract (four years, $160MM) has been outdone several times with the salary cap continuing to jump on an annual basis. His next pact will surely represent a raise in terms of annual compensation, but Jones’ public stance on the matter points to more amicable negotiating process than the last time the parties were in this situation.