Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have spent months trying to hammer out a long-term contract. While he doesn’t deserve to become the highest-paid player in the NFL, Prescott has rightfully earned a pay raise. Yet, the two-time Pro Bowler should feel downright insulted by the way Jerry Jones has handled contract negotiations. And based on some recent comments, the Cowboys look like huge hypocrites. Soon enough, we might just see if Dak Prescott agrees.
Cowboys have a puzzling rationale about Dak Prescott’s contract
All offseason, the story in Dallas has centered around Dak Prescott’s contract. After turning down a massive offer before the 2019 season began, he set career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns. That should have set Prescott up for an easy payday. But the Cowboys and their star quarterback still haven’t tied the knot. Recently, Cowboys’ executive vice president Stephen Jones made some interesting comments on the ProFootballTalk podcast.
“There’s all sorts of analytics out there that show if your quarterback takes up too big a percentage of your salary cap, that it decreases your chances to win,” Jones said. “We’re just trying to figure out the right fit. No one wants to sign Dak to a longer-term deal more than Jerry [Jones] and myself. We’re on the record time and time again of what we think of him as a leader. He has the ‘it’ factor. He’s a fierce competitor. He wants to win as well. It’s just got to be right for him and right for us. We’ll continue to work to a conclusion on that.”
At first glance, Jones’ comments might seem logical. After all, analytics have become an integral part of the NFL and the sports world in general. However, a deeper dive into how the Cowboys have conducted business lately should leave Dak Prescott feeling insulted at the their rationale.
Jerry Jones looks like a hypocrite based on recent deals
If the Cowboys truly value analytics, then they have some serious explaining to do. While Prescott plays the most important position in football, he’s watched several of his Cowboys teammates receive massive deals. And let’s just say that analytics nerds probably wouldn’t agree with the money Jerry Jones doled out.
First, the Cowboys signed Ezekiel Elliott to a six-year, $90 million deal. Paying a running back has proven to be a poor investment; just ask the Los Angeles Rams how they feel about handing Todd Gurley a massive extension when he had years left on his rookie deal. Still, the Cowboys made Elliott the highest-paid running back in NFL history after three years in the league.
To add to their hypocrisy, Dallas signed Amari Cooper to a five-year, $100 million deal with $60 million guaranteed. He now ranks second behind Julio Jones in average annual salary. Yet, when you look at the list of the top-25 highest-paid receivers, only two have Super Bowl rings. Just ask Bill Belichick what he thinks of investing in wide receivers in order to win titles.
Let’s also not forget that Jerry Jones gave Jaylon Smith—an off-ball linebacker—$35.4 million guaranteed. Somehow, Dallas paid three non-quarterbacks top-of-the-line money and are now referencing analytics as a reason why Dak Prescott can’t take up too much salary cap space. Talk about hypocritical.
Are the Cowboys taking the right approach with Prescott?
Letting this situation linger longer doesn’t seem like the smartest move. On one hand, it shows Dak Prescott that the Cowboys don’t properly value his services. If Dallas can break the bank for non-premium positions like a middle linebacker and a running back, why should they nickel and dime a quarterback? The very basis of the analytics reference is completely flawed when you look at how the Cowboys have allocated their resources.
At the same time, Dak Prescott should take those comments as a slap in the face. To some degree, it seems like the Cowboys insulted his intelligence. Teams don’t win Super Bowl titles with running backs and middle linebackers. And despite their prolific talent, Hall of Fame wideouts like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson have zero combined championships.
Jerry Jones needs to realize the hypocrisy of his ways before it’s too late. After all, he’s 77 years old and hasn’t won a Super Bowl title since 1996. Perhaps the Cowboys’ billionaire owner should stop emphasizing the false analytical narrative and make sure Dak Prescott stays in Dallas for good.