We are approaching the middle of May and for all of the great things that the Dallas Cowboys have done over the course of the offseason, there is still one thing hanging over their heads. The draft is done, the bulk of free agency completed, and the schedule is out. One thing remains for the Cowboys to take care of and that is a long-term contract for their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott.
There have been many reports about different values that may or may not be associated with a Dak deal, but summertime is just about here and there is no new contract. What the Cowboys are thinking and/or planning remains largely a mystery.
Stephen Jones referenced salary cap percentages when talking about a Dak Prescott deal recently
Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones joined ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio on the PFTPM podcast on Friday and offered a very interesting comment in talking about Dak Prescott and a pending deal. Jump to the 12:08 mark to hear it.
Mike Florio: As it relates to his contract, and I remember you went through this with Dez Bryant. July 15 is that ultimate drop dead deadline for a multi-year deal. It’s a deadline-driven business. Is it safe to say that that really is the timetable we all need to be watching? Mid July? It gets done or it doesn’t when that clock strikes 12 or 4 PM ET or whatever the case may be for closing the window on a long-term deal for Dak.
Stephen Jones: I think so. I mean at the end of the day I know everybody’s out there “how have you not paid Dak?” At the same time, Dak has to, we’ve tried to pay him, and he has to accept what we want to pay him. But the deal’s got to be right for Dak. It’s got to be right for us. As you know Mike the salary cap makes this a zero sum game for owners. This is not something where Jerry and myself are trying to save money so the Cowboys can make more money for the Jones family. We’re just trying to do our very best working with Mike, working with Will McClay, to really divide up the pie in the best way possible to win a Super Bowl. There’s all sorts of analytics out there that show if your quarterback takes up too big a percentage of your salary cap, that it decreases your chances to win. We’re just trying to figure out the right fit. No one wants to sign Dak to a longer-term deal more than Jerry and myself, we’re on the record time and time again of what we think of him as a leader. He has the it factor. He’s a fierce competitor. He wants to win as well. It’s just got to be right for him and right for us. We’ll continue to work to a conclusion on that.
This particular comment would lead one to believe that there could be an issue over the matter of price when it comes to Dak Prescott and that is an idea that most have largely moved on from. The general consensus these days is that this is a matter of contract length, four or five years.
Much has been made about how the last quarterback to win a Super Bowl that took up over 13% of his team’s salary cap percentage was Steve Young with the San Francisco 49ers back in 1994, but there is much-needed context for that. In recent memory alone players like Russell Wilson and Pat Mahomes have stormed onto the scene and been capable of achieving the game’s ultimate goal while on their rookie deal. It isn’t an indicator of 100% of anything.
For what it’s worth, the salary cap figure for the 2020 season is just south of $200M ($198.2M). Dak Prescott has already had the franchise tag placed on him and that figure is officially for $31.4M so it’s fair to assume that whatever deal he ultimately gets will be at the very least for that value per year. Still though, it is very worth noting that Stephen Jones mentioned this narrative and specifically noted that there were analytics to support it.