The Dallas Cowboys will get back to work on Tuesday, and while things are happening on the field, there is likely a lot of attention being paid off of it as well.
This is true because the Cowboys are deep in contract extension mode with deals due for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper after this season, and Ezekiel Elliott also wants to get in on that action. It’s a challenging proposition to get them all done (especially with the ink on DeMarcus Lawrence’s extension barely dry) but talented football players typically get paid. It’s a good problem to have.
With no real action in a while,, Tuesday brought forth some news on this front. Per NFL Network’s Jane Slater the Cowboys have top five deals on the table for each one of their brand new triplets.
Additionally, I’m told they’re ready and willing to get the deals done but if the two sides can’t agree on numbers that make more sense the #Cowboys are prepared to play this season with each player on a “prove it deal.” https://t.co/Grwlg3zTV4— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) August 6, 2019
It’s hard to know exactly how the Cowboys would be qualifying “top five” as far as contracts. If we’re to assume it is off of annual value per year (a fair assumption) then it stands to reason that each one of these players is about to be quite wealthy.
The current fifth highest-paid numbers at each position based on annual value:
- Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ($30M per year)
- Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans ($16.2M per year)
- Running Back: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills ($8.01M per year)
Those are serious numbers that Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper could then be living in, if Ezekiel Elliott is barely beating out McCoy’s numbers as far as this “generous” offer then we’re likely going to see a continued holdout from him. The running back position is obviously the least paid which is why we’re in the situation that we are with Zeke.
Prove-it years for these players would be awfully bold
Perhaps the most interesting part of Slater’s report is that the Cowboys are willing to go through the 2019 seasons as prove-it years for their stars. That’s a bold roll of the dice.
Both Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are technically already on prove-it deals as 2019 is the last year of their contracts. Ezekiel Elliott would likely argue that he’s already “proved” his worth, but if he were to agree to this and led the league in rushing again, imagine how much more he’d want in 2020.
Something working to the advantage of the Cowboys next offseason is that both the franchise and transition tags can be utilized as opposed to just one. This is a potential smash-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency option for the Cowboys so that they can keep their stars off of the open market, this could also theoretically help with a new deal for Byron Jones, too.
It’s hard to know exactly when all of this will get resolved. Many had thought that training camp would yield at least one contract extension for a cornerstone Cowboys player, but we’re well past a week in and still no news on that front. Dallas plays their first preseason game of the year on Saturday and we’re just outside of a month away from the regular season beginning against the New York Giants.
For now, as has been the case, we will continue to wait.