Dallas Cowboys: Does Jaylon Smith’s deal complicate matters with others?

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys came to agreement with Jaylon Smith to keep him in Dallas for the foreseeable future, but does this complicate matters with other players seeking extensions?

The Dallas Cowboys came to agreement yesterday with one of their many pending free agents. But instead of it being the oft-discussed Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, or Ezekiel Elliott, the player who locked up the long-term deal was linebacker Jaylon Smith.

Jaylon, still two years from unrestricted free agency, didn’t appear to be one of the top priorities on Dallas’ to-do list. With Dak and Coop both one year away from free agency, and Zeke presently holding out in protest, Jaylon’s extension always looked like it could wait.

But when common ground is found, there’s no time like the present, and that’s exactly what we saw yesterday afternoon. Jaylon legitimately wanted to be a career Cowboy. And the Cowboys unabashedly wanted Jaylon. When the money came out right, why not make something happen?

That’s the difference between the Dallas Cowboys and everyone else. Dak, Coop, and Zeke all have lofty demands the Cowboys are currently unwilling to meet. This is ultimately more about Jaylon’s demands than the Dallas Cowboys willingness to meet them.

According to early reports, Jaylon is signing on to be a top-5 paid linebacker. And with his guarantees spread out over seven years, he’s a relative bargain if we’re being completely honest. Do you think the Cowboys would happily sign Dak, Coop, and Zeke to just top-5 contract extensions? Hell yes. The problem is these respective players have been asking for more. And they’re perfectly entitled to – that’s part of this game.

But Jaylon was willing to take less than max value in order to come to an early agreement. It may not qualify as selfless but it’s pretty team-friendly and neat to see given the current climate of the Dallas Cowboys’ negotiations.

It’s important to reiterate, every player has a right to maximize his income however he sees fit. No one wants to leave money on the table. I sure as heck don’t when I negotiate salaries. That’s how fair deals go down. So Jaylon’s willingness to proactively re-sign without playing hardball is a testament to him and what’s important to him. It says nothing about his teammates and their negotiations.

Does this complicate matters?

With all of that said, this applies pressure on Dak, Coop, and Zeke. It shows Dallas is willing to make deals. It shows they are willing to do so proactively since Jaylon was essentially under team control for two more seasons (restricted free agent in 2020).

A deal like this is good for the Dallas Cowboys – but maybe not for Dak’s, Cooper’s, or Zeke’s respective camps.

It’s not that the money is drying up, either. Dallas is still well positioned to re-sign all three of their top offensive players. The salary cap very manipulable that way. It just changes the perception of things. The Dallas Cowboys are suddenly the good guys again and Jaylon is their patron saint.

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If anything, Jaylon Smith’s re-signing helps matters for the Dallas Cowboys. It puts more pressure back on the players and could kick-start a new round of negotiations. Dallas isn’t trying to cheat anyone, they’re just trying not to set the market. This could help.

  • Published on 08/21/2019 at 11:00 AM
  • Last updated at 08/21/2019 at 07:15 AM