They were once known as “America’s Team,” but the days of the Cowboys’ dominance are a distant memory. In the ’90s, the rest of the NFL struggled to keep up with the Dallas dynasty. Now, they face one missed opportunity after another. Their biggest issue is a failure to coalesce around quarterback, Dak Prescott. The latest proof: Prescott’s disastrous contract negotiations.
How Dak Prescott’s negotiations failed
Negotiations began early in the offseason, sometime in February. At that point, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ front office were invested in Prescott’s future and looking to retain him long-term. They offered him a five-year deal amounting to an average of $35 million per year with a guaranteed $106 million total.
Prescott turned down their more-than-generous offer. Instead, he chose to return to the negotiating table in pursuit of his own contract terms. In an ideal world, those terms would’ve included a four-year commitment with $123 million in guaranteed pay. Rumor has it that the sticking point was contract length, with Prescott hyper-focused on a four-year term.
Most of the negotiations happened immediately after the 2019 season. The problem is since Prescott declined the Cowboys’ initial offer, both camps went silent. They had until July 15 to strike a deal. Although the internet was full of vague rumors about Prescott’s agent and Jones, nothing came out of it. Prescott took the franchise tag instead, amounting to a short-term, one-year contract worth just north of $31 million.
An unnecessary distraction
Maybe Prescott held out because after only four seasons with the Cowboys, he’s already put up super star numbers. He’s logged nearly 16,000 yards and 97 touchdowns in a relatively short time. From Jerry Jones’ perspective, however, the young quarterback never brought home a Super Bowl win, let alone a divisional title. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
In the end, the Prescott contract drama is just one more distraction in an already crazy year. With the continual issue of COVID-19 and social distancing, there’s a lot still up in the air about the 2020 season.
So far, the NFL hasn’t decided on a solid plan. The plan’s lack of specificity, unlike the MLB’s or the NBA’s respective plans, adds a point of stress to the offseason. For a team that’s struggled to live up its potential, Prescott’s contract status is an unwelcome distraction.
Prescott’s contract negotiations have been a constant staple in the sports news cycle for months. There have been stories abound of Prescott’s skill, his leadership potential, his class off the field, and numerous comparisons to other prominent players like Patrick Mahomes who received ground-breaking contracts.
At some point though, enough is enough. The entirety of the Cowboys fandom is suffering from Prescott fatigue. A recent Reddit thread, populated by Cowboys fans, discussed the failed contract negotiation. The topic creator, U/PersonBehindaScreen, said, “I was in the pay Dak camp and still am but at this point, I’m ready to get this over with.”
The ensuing comments featured a chorus of support, and the general consensus is that the modern-day Cowboys, who are notorious for taking a great opportunity and screwing it up, have made yet another mistake. The bottom line? People are ready to stop talking about Prescott and begin the new season as soon as possible.