Cowboys' Stephen Jones calls Dak Prescott contract talks a 'zero sum game'

Jack Baer
·2-min read

The Dallas Cowboys offseason is creeping along with no new deal for quarterback Dak Prescott, and the son of the team’s owner is now signaling some worries about what an extension could do to the team’s cap space.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones acknowledged to reporters on Wednesday that Prescott’s contract status is “the elephant in the room” for the team’s offseason, according to The Dallas Morning News.

In particular, Jones indicated that Prescott is in line for a big-time deal, but that it wouldn’t come without major salary cap ramifications.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dak Prescott's contract talks have dragged on. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

From the Morning News:

“Jerry [Jones] has always told me, as a mentor of mine, as the money gets bigger, the deals get harder,’’ Stephen Jones said. “Obviously, when we’re talking about Dak, it’s as big as it gets in the NFL. So, it’s got to be right for Dak and it’s got to be right for us.

“It’s a zero sum game for Jerry and I. We’re just dividing up cap space. Whatever we do here is just a matter of how much we want to allocate to one player.’’

Jones isn’t the first executive to muse about the drawbacks of a megadeal for a player, but it is a curious message to send when the Cowboys have been haggling over the length of the deal rather than its average annual value.

Prescott and the Cowboys have been circling around a $35 million salary for his next extension, but Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reports that the Cowboys are pushing for a five-year deal while Prescott’s camp is insisting on four.

A shorter deal would allow Prescott to hit free agency yet again around the age of 30, which could mean even more than the nine figures he already seems on track to get.

It’s been an eventful year for the Cowboys’ cap sheet with major contracts given to Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, while other players like Robert Quinn and Byron Jones have found the money they seek elsewhere. The biggest eyebrow-raiser for Prescott’s purposes might have been bringing in Andy Dalton to back up Prescott, but there’s still plenty of time to work things out.

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