NFL

Dak Prescott and Jerry Jones Face Most Critical 3 Weeks in Cowboys History

Dak Prescott and Jerry Jones both have the same goal in mind: to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Dallas. For Prescott, winning a Super Bowl would finally silence detractors who point to his lack of playoff success as a reason he doesn’t deserve a big-money deal. For Jones, he has devoted millions of dollars over the years to try and make the Cowboys champions again.

But if those two plan on celebrating a Super Bowl victory this year, they have three weeks to determine the fate of the franchise. Will Prescott finally sign a long-term deal to stay in Dallas? Or will he play out the 2020 season on the franchise tag? The ball is now in Jerry Jones’ court, which makes the next three weeks the most important time in Cowboys history.

Dak Prescott and Jerry Jones have failed to come to terms on a contract extension

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Even before the 2019 season began, the story in Dallas centered around Dak Prescott’s long-term future. He turned down a proposed deal and ended up looking smart for doing so. Though the Cowboys failed to qualify for the playoffs, Prescott enjoyed the most productive season of his four-year career.

The 6-foot-2, 238-pounder set career-highs in passing yards (4,902), touchdowns (30) and yards per completion (12.6). Of course, haters will quickly point out that Prescott led his team to a disappointing 8-8 record.

Despite his individual brilliance, the 2016 fourth-round pick has yet to sign a contract extension. He’s reportedly turned down multiple offers, including one that would have paid him $175 million over five years.

Ultimately, the length of the deal and the amount of guaranteed money definitely makes a major difference. And based on the fact that Jerry Jones hasn’t put pen to paper yet, it’s clear that the Cowboys and their star QB still have some negotiating to do.

Prescott officially put the Cowboys on the clock

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In March, the Cowboys wisely placed the franchise tag on Prescott. The move made total sense, as it ensured that the star quarterback wouldn’t walk away. However, that didn’t exactly seal his fate. NFL players have to sign the tender to make the deal official. And for months, many have wondered if Prescott would sign the exclusive franchise tender.

Though a long-term deal still makes more sense, the two-time Pro Bowler made his intentions clear on Sunday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Prescott will sign his $31.4 million franchise tender on Monday. If negotiations fail to progress, he can sleep soundly knowing that $31.4 million is fully guaranteed.

However, by signing his tender, Prescott also put the Cowboys on the clock. The two sides have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term contract. But will Jerry Jones and his star QB finally agree to terms before time runs out?

Will Jones and Prescott agree to a deal before the July 15 deadline?

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With about three weeks left on the negotiating clock, it’s time for the NFL’s most powerful owner to step up. Jones has already handed out massive extensions for other stars on the team, including Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and DeMarcus Lawrence. Dak Prescott deserves a major pay raise and has done more than enough to warrant long-term financial security.

However, it’s also fair to question whether he’s truly worth a record-setting contract. While he’s gone 40-24 as a starter, Prescott owns a 1-2 playoff record. Does Dallas want to invest more than $100 million guaranteed on a quarterback who has yet to deliver in the postseason?

Prescott also had some troubling performances late in the year. Dallas dropped three straight games from Week 12-14. During that three-week stretch, Prescott completed just 59.5 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and two interceptions. He looked downright terrible in a Week 16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that cost the Cowboys a playoff spot.

At the end of the day, though, Dak Prescott absolutely has the physical tools and work ethic to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl title. Jerry Jones has smartly invested heavily in his supporting cast, including drafting CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Dallas clearly has one of the top overall rosters in the NFL. It has a powerful owner with more money than anyone could dream of. Now, it’ll be up to that owner to figure out how much he’s willing to pay a quarterback who has shown flashes of greatness. In three weeks, we’ll know just how much Jerry Jones loves Dak Prescott.

Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference