In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, the brass in the Dallas Cowboys’ front office continues to put their business on the street.
Here we go again. Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Player Personnel, Stephen Jones, recently went on Mike Florio’s PFT PM Podcast as a means to publicly negotiate with quarterback Dak Prescott. We’ve long known that the Jones family just can’t help themselves when it comes to hogging the sports spotlight in this town. And as sure as the day is long, the local media latched onto it and talked it into the ground.
If this year’s act is anything like last year’s dog and pony show with Ezekiel Elliott, they’ll hem and haw on it, and then ultimately cave and give Prescott and his camp the deal that they want. It’s just the typical way the Dallas Cowboys go about their business. It’s a soap opera that plays itself out, and by the time it’s over we’re all sitting around and wondering what the fuss was about.
Forget about which camp you’re in regarding the “Sign him” or “Don’t sign him” side. The bottom line is the Cowboys are going to pay Dak Prescott. It’s not about whether or not he deserves the money. Competent franchise quarterbacks don’t necessarily roam free in the NFL. So some of the pipe dreams I’ve seen from the fan base, a la giving the reins to newly-acquired backup Andy Dalton and moving on from Prescott, don’t hold water.
As for the podcast itself, Jones explained that they want to get Prescott signed, but he also referred to some set of heretofore unknown metrics suggesting that giving a quarterback an overly large piece of the pie can hurt a team’s chances to win. Whether or not this is actually true is up for debate, but the rub here seems to be the actual length of the contract rather than the amount of money.
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Full disclosure, I usually lean heavily in favor of the player in these cases. I don’t feel as though Prescott is being unreasonable. Fourth-round NFL starters don’t exactly grow on trees. In four years as Cowboys’ quarterback, his regular season record is 40-24, which is good for a .625 winning percentage. Sure, the 1-2 playoff record isn’t stellar. There’s nothing there in terms of “skins on the wall”. I get that. But the market for quarterbacks in this league isn’t about rewarding past performance. It’s about betting on future results. With Prescott, I think that’s a safe wager. The offense should roll, especially with the drafting of wideout CeeDee Lamb, and Prescott should continue to flourish under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
There’s also the fact that Prescott has proven to be remarkably durable in his tenure here. Chalk it up to youth, size, or smarts. It’s probably a combination of all of the above. But I’ve heard people much smarter than me say that the best ability is availability. To that end, Prescott has a leg up on a lot of his peers (see: Wentz, Carson). Simply put, he’s been an iron man. He doesn’t miss games. Former backup Cooper Rush mercifully never had to take a meaningful snap in a pivotal game. In my opinion, that’s worth a lot.
So while we all hear about the proverbial elephant in the room for the time being, just remember this: the Jones family never met a stage they’d shy away from. They once signed that miscreant Greg Hardy for crying out loud. Before this season starts–allegedly on time–there will be a deal in place for one Rayne Dakota Prescott, and it’ll be all grins and laughs at The Star. What’s a little airing of dirty laundry between friends anyway? Ho hum. Just another day in Jerry’s circus, right?