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How Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper can all get paid

A plan for spreading the Cowboys money around.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer and closer to the 2019 season for the Dallas Cowboys there are still some important matters at hand that need addressing.

These matters involve the contractual status of several Cowboys players that are the cornerstones of the franchise in its current iteration. We saw DeMarcus Lawrence get his big payday, all that’s left to do is figure out a way to get Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper all happily under long-term contracts. Super easy.

Former sports agent and now CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry is known for his intellect when it comes to all things concerning the salary cap, contracts, and where money in the NFL lands. Corry stopped by the The Ocho on the BTB podcast feed to talk about potential deals for the trio and why the numbers are what they are. It’s worth the listen if you want more detail on what these guys could get paid.

Corry also wrote about this subject this week at CBS Sports, consider it your A to Z on all things Amari to Zeke (sorry, I had to). As you can imagine the deals for Odell Beckham Jr. (plus Antonio Brown) and Todd Gurley will likely serve as part of the framework for Amari and Elliott’s deals, but what Dak Prescott gets is ultimately going to be a bit different given the way quarterbacks are valued in the NFL.

During our conversation Corry explained that he has three tiers in which he sorts quarterbacks (you’ll have to listen to see which one Dak falls into), but he ultimately believes that Prescott will get paid. What’s more is he thinks it’s possible that all three could get their new deals before the season even begins.

There’s a common misconception that locking them all down (with Byron Jones and others to follow) might land the Cowboys in “cap hell”, but Corry agrees that there’s no armageddon-like situation facing Dallas should they indeed get their stars under new contracts. It bears mentioning that the Cowboys have an enormous amount of cap space on the horizon, almost more than anyone in the league.

Dallas doesn’t run the risk of getting back into salary cap hell like in the early part of the decade and the late 1990s with the triplets as a major part of the future. There are a little over $115 million of cap commitments in 2020 (36 players under contract). Only three teams, the Bills, Dolphins and Texans, currently have fewer 2020 cap obligations. Even if the cap starts becoming tight, the Cowboys have consistently been willing to aggressively manage the cap where multiple contracts are restructured to free up space.

We could very soon be living in a world where Dak, Zeke, and Amari make numbers close to $30M, $16M, and $18M annually. That sounds like a big pill to swallow, but it’s just a normal day in the NFL.

That’s it. No big deal.

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