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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott’s contract situation dominates Dallas’ offseason

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The glacial pace of the negotiations casts a shadow on the offseason.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

QB Dak Prescott’s Contract Dominates Cowboys 2021 Offseason - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star
Here's some more data supporting the premise that the Dallas Cowboys absolutely must get Dak Prescott signed to a multiyear deal, rather than tagging him, which would eat up an estimated $37.7 million of this year's cap.

This would be true any season but especially with the salary cap expected to drop this year. Usually increasing by about $10 million every year, the 2021 cap is projected to decrease from $198 million to around $175-$185 million this year as the NFL accounts for revenue losses during the pandemic.

A multiyear contract allows the Cowboys to do creative things to reduce the impact during this fiscally lean season. Just look at Pat Mahomes’ megadeal; only a $24.8 cap hit in 2021 despite being the richest deal ever given to any NFL player.

Cowboys, NFL clubs get sense of salary cap but not firm number - Cameron Burnett, Cowboys Wire
With the lack of clarity on the cap being cited as one reason the Cowboys are slow rolling the Prescott negotiations, this seems less than optimal.

As part of negotiations last year, the NFL and NFLPA set a $175 million minimum for the 2021 salary cap, knowing COVID-19 would have a large impact due to lower revenue from ticket and concession sales. The sides still have yet to reach a firm number, and the final decision may come extremely close to the start of the new league year, as reported by NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Wednesday night.

Dak Prescott is not under Cowboys contract. CeeDee Lamb wants him back - Jori Epstein, USA Today
It's not just cap space and salary considerations that make re-signing Prescott crucial. Failure to do so would create some massive discontent for the rest of the roster, as emerging star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb expressed.

But Lamb isn’t trying to hide on the field so much as he’s aiming to defer respectfully to members of the Cowboys organization regarding matters of contract negotiations … like, the protracted negotiation of a long-term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott.

On second thought, Lamb does have a few words on the matter.

“It’s no secret we want Dak back,” Lamb told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “I trust that the guys in the office are definitely going to make the right decision. They know how much Dak means to us and how much we lean on him.

“I cannot wait to have him back.”

Sooners in the NFL: CeeDee Lamb best in NFL in catches over 20 yards - Patrick Conn, Sooners Wire
Speaking of Lamb, he was among the elite working from the slot position in 2020.

Lamb had ample opportunities with the Cowboys this past season from the slot. With Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper playing a large majority of their time outside, Lamb was able to terrorize defenses across the middle. In fact he did so quite frequently. He was also the best receiver in receptions of 20+ yards from the slot.

Emmitt Smith says Cowboys must improve O-line and D-line - 105.3 The Fan staff
Some "build from the inside out" wisdom from the great Emmitt Smith.

"Right now, I would look at trying to solidify (and) improve upon the offensive line and our defensive front. I think those two areas definitely need to be solidified because of some of the holes we've had last year on the offensive line with guys getting hurt. We got some guys who are great players but their bodies are not holding up, so we need to have some solid backups," Smith said.

Rashawn Slater As Dallas Cowboys 'Default' NFL First-Round Pick? - Matthew Postins, FanNation
Most draft guys don't think Sewell will make it to Dallas at 10 overall. But many have another candidate at OT, Rashawn Slater, going to the Cowboys.

If Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley are off the board, most mock drafters are defaulting to Slater.

Why?

Well, he’s a great player to start with. Many player rankings have him as the No. 2 overall offensive lineman in the draft, behind Oregon’s Penei Sewell. NFLDraftBible.com’s Ryan Roberts has Slater as the No. 1 overall guard. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was on NBC Sports Chicago on Wednesday and talked about Slater like he’s gonna get a cut of the contract. But, seriously, Fitzgerald loves the progress his 6-foot-3, 315-pound left tackle has made in Evanston, even though Slater opted out of the 2020 season.

Teams have begun calling Eagles on potential trade for Carson Wentz - Ian Rapoport & Mike Garafolo, NFL.com
While the Cowboys have an issue to deal with at quarterback, somebody else's quarterback, who was a very expensive first-round pick, is unhappy and wants out.

With Matthew Stafford off the trade block and headed to the Rams, the eyes of QB-hungry general managers have turned to another QB who could be available: Carson Wentz.

Sources say that teams have begun calling the Eagles on their former starter Wentz, plotting a roadmap for a potential trade as teams get closer to the start of the league year.

The Eagles are not in a hurry to trade Wentz -- and in fact as of now intend for him to return for 2021 under new coach Nick Sirianni -- but they did field the calls and discussed the issue. GM Howie Roseman will almost always listen, and this is no different.

Carson Wentz trade rumors: Eagles fielding calls for disgruntled quarterback - Brandon Lee Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation
This is included for those familiar with the German term "schadenfreude."

There is thought that the Eagles shouldn’t trade Wentz and should instead try to rehabilitate him back to form. Maybe that possibility exists under new head coach Nick Sirianni. It’s hard to feel fully confident in that happening, though, without the indication that Wentz is fully buying in to getting better and not just on his terms. It feels untenable to have a franchise quarterback who doesn’t even want to be on the team.

Jason Garrett expected to return as New York Giants’ offensive coordinator, source says - Jordan Raanan, ESPN

Speaking of our brethren in the NFC East, the Giants are set to keep former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett as their offensive coordinator. But it doesn’t sound like the marriage between him and head coach Joe Judge is a particularly happy one.

New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is expected to return after a shaky season in which the team finished 31st in total offense and points scored, a source told ESPN.

Although Garrett will stay, there will be some changes to the Giants’ offensive staff, among them the possibility of internal alterations when it comes to the responsibilities of those currently on staff. Increased responsibility for quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens is possible.

...

Despite Judge signing off on it, the marriage seemed arranged and wasn’t perfect in Year 1. It became evident that Garrett might not be the perfect match with Judge when offensive line coach Marc Colombo was fired midseason. Colombo and Garrett had spent years together in Dallas. Colombo wasn’t happy that Judge was bringing in veteran offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo as a consultant, and the situation deteriorated from there.

Guess Who Thinks Dallas Cowboys Icon Troy Aikman Would Make A Great GM? - Mike Fisher, FanNation Dallas Cowboys News, Analysis and More
Troy Aikman thinks he could make a good NFL GM. There are a lot of Cowboys fans who are ready for someone not named Jones to take that job for the team, and would probably love to see Aikman at the Star. But he understands fully why that is highly unlikely even if he did decide to leave the booth and get into management.

“It’s a long shot in Dallas,'' he told me. "I think it’s always been a long shot in Dallas for the simple reason that it’s a family affair. With Jerry [Jones] having two sons and Stephen [Jones], of course, he’s been working in the front office ever since the team was bought. They’re not in need of that type of person, I’ve always known that.”

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