Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Cowboys’ Dak Prescott knows ‘business will take care of itself’ regarding new deal, doesn’t ‘play for money’

FRISCO, Texas —  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said “We want Dak Prescott. That’s that.” when asked how motivated he is to retain Prescott as his team’s long-term, face of the franchise quarterback. 

Jones made that comment two days before the 2024 NFL Draft on April 23, and based on how emphatic he was in saying it, the natural conclusion would be that a new deal for Prescott, who enters 2024 in the last season of a four-year, $160 million contract he signed back in 2021, was imminent. However, nearly a month has passed, and Dallas already has two organized team activities (OTA) workouts under their belt without Prescott receiving a new deal. 

Prescott, the 2023 season leader in passing touchdowns (36), isn’t phased by the lack of a deal at this moment in time while stressing the importance of not holding out with much of his receiving core trending younger outside of Brandin Cooks (age 30). 

“Business, business is business. I’ll leave it where it gets handled,” Prescott said Wednesday at Cowboys OTAs. “Right now, it’s about being my best for this team right now in this moment. OTAs is helping these guys out and just focused on that and I know my business will take care of itself. Been in it before, experienced [in talks with Jerry and Stephen Jones] and just controlling what I can right now.”

The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, who will turn 31 on July 29 entering his ninth NFL season, is coming off of a season in which he earned 2023 Second-Team All-Pro honors and finished as the league’s MVP runner-up behind Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson while putting up his most efficient season of his career (105.9 passer rating). 

Should Prescott’s deal somehow not get done between now and March 2025, he can hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. Prescott’s current deal possesses a no-trade and no-franchise tag clause. If he did become an unrestricted free agent, the bidding would almost certainly result in Prescott becoming the NFL’s highest-paid player on an average annual salary basis and surpassing Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s $55 million average per year on his five-year, $275 million deal. He did say back in April that he’s “not trying to be the highest paid necessarily,” but with a soon-to-be-36-year-old Kirk Cousins signing a four-year, $180 million contract with $100 million in guaranteed money to join the Atlanta Falcons after tearing his Achilles in 2023, Prescott’s contract value would soar much higher than that. 

“I don’t play for money,” Prescott said. “Never have never cared for it to be honest with you. Yeah. 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, 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.”

Dak Prescott 2023 season

NFL QB RANK

Completion Pct

69.5%

2nd

Pass Yards 4,516 3rd

Pass Yards/Att

7.7

6th

Pass TD

36

1st*

TD-INT

36-9

2nd

Passer Rating

105.9

2nd

Expected Points Added/Play 0.18 2nd

* First in Cowboys history to be outright NFL pass TD leader in a season

The Cowboys quarterback has gone through this song and dance with the Jones family and the Dallas front office once before for his second NFL contract following the rookie deal he received as a fourth-round draft pick in 2016. Now that he has already been paid like an established quarterback, Prescott doesn’t take the extended negotiations as personally as he did years ago after the team franchise-tagged him twice before coming to terns on his four-year, $160 million extension. What’s also different this time around is he has leverage. 

If a deal doesn’t get done before the season begins, the threat of his upcoming free agency becomes incredibly real for the Cowboys. Starting over at the quarterback position is certainly not what an 81-year-old Jerry Jones would like to being doing in 2025. 

“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 said. “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, and I guess the fact that that first deal got done. The understanding that I have a lot of decision in this, too. I have a lot of say-so, too.”  

Had Prescott’s Cowboys advanced to the NFC Championship game in 2023 instead of crumbling in the 2023 wild card round against the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers after a third 12-win season in a row, a feat accomplished for the first time in Dallas since the 1990’s Super Bowl glory years, his deal would likely be done already. Dallas COO and EVP Stephen Jones has said as much by saying “the elephant in the room is our playoff success.” 

The Cowboys haven’t reached the NFL’s conference final round since the 1995 season, their last year with a Super Bowl championship. Both Dallas’ NBA team — the Mavericks — and NHL team — the Stars — are currently in their respective sport’s conference finals round, and North Texas’ baseball team, the Texas Rangers, are the defending World Series champions. Their success only motivates Prescott to power the Cowboys to similar heights. 

“It’s not jealousy, but yeah, it fires you up, 100%,” Prescott said. “Yeah, any competitor should, damn sure, in my position, leader of the team, understanding what winning means here, not getting it done, and then watching your brothers across the city go and make these things happen, I want it for them. I want it because it only raises the stakes and makes it tougher on me. And I’m for that. Go win it. Rangers did it. Other two go do it. Put more f—ing pressure on us.”  

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