The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of free agents that they are likely going to want to keep. A lot. See the whole list right here. Of course, when it comes to things like this, there are priorities. There are certain players that are undoubtedly more important for the Cowboys to keep, and three of the important ones are Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Byron Jones.
Previously all of this was thought to be a little bit more simple. With 2020 being the Final League Year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, all teams could apply franchise/transition tags to two different players. At worst that would mean the Cowboys would lose only one of their top targets.
While the status of that thought is a bit up in the air, it is still possible for the Cowboys to keep who they want to keep. The folks over at PFF predicted where top free agents would land this past week, and they have Dallas keeping almost all of their notable players.
One former agent set a target contract this past week for Dak Prescott and it is a pretty sizable one. Joel Corry from CBS thinks that Prescott could possibly land a four-year deal worth $150M ($37.5M per seaso) with $120M guaranteed.
There is no imaginable world where the Cowboys move on from Dak Prescott which is why it makes sense that PFF has the team keeping their star quarterback. They aren’t as confident as Corry’s target deal though as they have Dak taking a five-year deal worth $33M per season with $105M guaranteed. That’s a big difference.
Whatever Dak Prescott does end up taking it will ultimately come from the Cowboys.
For a lot of people the pending free agency period has felt like a decision between Amari Cooper and Byron Jones for the Cowboys. There are certainly arguments to make for either, but the team did just trade a first-round pick for the former less than two years ago.
If the Cowboys do want to part ways with Cooper they should not let what they paid so recently be a factor in bringing him back. There are legitimate reasons to bring back Cooper, the point is that the only one shouldn’t be the price they paid.
PFF has the Cowboys returning Amari Cooper and, like with his quarterback, for a nice chunk of change. They have him earning a five-year deal worth $20M per season with $68M guaranteed. That’s... a lot.
You’re a smart person so you can reasonably deduce that if PFF has the Cowboys returning two of their big three, and if they have Prescott and Cooper returning, that means they don’t have Byron Jones returning to the Cowboys. You would be correct there.
Due to the way that business works in the NFL, it’s possible that Byron Jones becomes the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL this offseason, and if that is ultimately the case then he definitely won’t be playing for the Cowboys.
PFF has Byron Jones landing with the Las Vegas Raiders and doing so with a five-year contract worth $16M per season with $50.5M guaranteed.
If those are the numbers that Byron Jones can pull, then he should absolutely go get them. The reality is that it is going to be next to impossible for the Cowboys to keep him in general let alone at a figure like that.