If you thought Jerry Jones was going to be passive in the ongoing Dak Prescott contract negotiations, then you must not know Jerry.
The 2023 season is the second-last year on Dak's contract, meaning negotiations are already underway on an extension. Jones completely transformed the negotiation landscape and the makeup of the Cowbyos quarterback room on Friday by pulling off a stunning trade for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance.
Dak already had a ton on the line this season. A big year is going to allow him to command the usual kind of massive contract extension we're used to seeing. But adding another disappointing season to his resume would suddenly make him look mighty disposable.
One huge piece that was working in Dak's favor was having no competition on the roster. Cooper Rush is a career backup, and Will Grier is only a fringe QB3 who doesn't seem to have the upside to ever become a real starter.
Well now that could change.
I'll fully admit we have no idea how good Trey Lance is. I'm not going to assume he's a future star just because he was the No. 3 overall pick — after all the 49ers have never really made any moves that suggest he was ready to develop into what they had hoped.
It's not like he's been awful when he has been on the field though. He's certainly been all over the map, but he has a career passer rating of 84.5 on 102 pass attempts. That’s not a great mark or anything, but it was better than seven of 33 qualifying quarterbacks last season. It would have put him right between Russell Wilson and Mac Jones.
And frankly, from Jones' perspective, just the potential of Lance helps impact these contract negotiations. It makes it clear to Dak that the Cowboys are thinking about alternate futures at the position, and it's also going to give fuel to fans who get upset if Dak turns in a few bad performances.
Jones has shown he can be reasonable with contract negotiations. After all he gave Zack Martin the contract extension we all knew he deserved.
But Jones has also proven that he can be ruthless, and he's not afraid to play to the court of public opinion here.
Dak already had a ton on the line in 2023, but now the message is crystal clear. It's now or never.
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