When news broke that the Dallas Cowboys had agreed to a deal with Dak Prescott, the majority of fans’ reactions was excitement across Cowboys Nation.
Soon after the excitement, some people started commenting that it was surprising no one had really heard anything in the hours approaching the deal. Patrik Walker then dropped a bomb on everyone, Jerry Jones had “stepped in to get the deal done.”
The Dallas Cowboys quietly got a deal done with Dak Prescott, and we can thank Jerry Jones
If you have been following a lot of us who cover the team, there has been talk for years that Stephen Jones had been in control of negotiations with players and free agents. Earlier in the day Bryan Broaddus said on the radio that some executives around the league believed Stephen Jones was going to be bad for the Cowboys in the future. Then Patrik drops his info and here we are.
Back around 2015 or 2016 Jerry Jones spoke about how much influence Stephen had and how it was growing inside the Dallas Cowboys. There were quiet rumblings inside The Star that Stephen is why Jason Garrett was kept as long as he was and Jerry was ready to move on but Stephen stood up and fought to keep him.
Yes, Stephen stopped Jerry from the Johnny Manziel mistake, but he also kept Garrett and has been the reason the Cowboys have bargain shopped in free agency.
Fast forward to the last two seasons and the Dak Prescott contract became contentious. Publicly, Stephen and Jerry both said that Dak was the future of the Dallas Cowboys, however, two seasons of botched contract negotiations hinted at some internal issues. Many blamed Todd France (maybe a little rightfully so), but many of the public offers were seen as cheap for what the current QB market was sitting at.
So we came into the 2021 offseason with huge questions on whether Dak would get the tag again, or perhaps, traded, and there was even talk that he could simply walk. The discussion raged on, whether it was on social media, radio, television, blogs, media outlets, and probably even in face-to-face discussions (COVID probably reduced the frequency of this), the Dak Prescott contract discussion was inescapable.
With only two days to decide whether Dak would get the franchise tag, Jerry Jones had seen enough. He stepped into the negotiations and brought the two sides together. Forever the salesman, Jerry pulled his ultimate sales job, the one where he sold his son. The odds were Dak would have gotten a tag while Stephen and France kept battling over money, years, ego, whatever until the summer.
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Now Dak has a shiny new contract with what many of us had been saying, $40M APY. Remember APY is not what the player gets every single year, it is an average. The tag would have cost the Cowboys about $37.7M by placing the tag on Dak, instead, the hit this season will be about $22.5M, leaving the Cowboys with about $40m in cap space. Not bad for a team that was worried about not having money this season. Structured right, the deal should take advantage of the new $2.6B TV deal set to hit the league in 2023.
So we can all thank Jerry Jones for the deal with Dak Prescott. He stepped in and made a deal happen that needed to happen. Jerry was also in on the TV deal, so he knew what was coming in the near future and knew signing Dak now was a move they could make and not “cripple” the team with cap space. Now, maybe Jerry can step in and help with free agency, continue to draft fairly well, and set this team up for success. Thank you Jerry, from all of us.