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Cowboys news: Stephen Jones is talking to Dak Prescott’s agent, and it’s positive

The news you may have missed from Tuesday

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Cleveland Browns v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Report: Cowboys contract talks with Prescott’s agent “better than they’ve been” - Josh Clark, 105.3 The Fan

The Cowboys are fast approaching the deadline to franchise tag Dak Prescott, so it was good to hear news that Stephen Jones has been having positive talks with his quarterback’s agent lately. There is still more work to be done, but things are heading in the right direction.

NFL Network’s Jane Slater dropped some “encouraging” news for Cowboys fans hoping the franchise gets a deal done with quarterback Dak Prescott.

Slater reported Tuesday that Cowboys COO Stephen Jones and Prescott’s agent Todd France have had ‘good talks’ recently. Slater adds that the talks weren’t characterized as “meaningful” but they were going ‘better than (they have) been.’

The Cowboys have until March 9 to place the franchise tag on their franchise quarterback. Under the tag this year, Prescott would earn $37.7 million. However, both sides can still work on hammering out a new contract through mid-July. Although, that isn’t an ideal situation, as the Cowboys would be prevented from doing some additional roster-building business.

Slater: Cowboys’ Dak Prescott Looking to Get Paid “Right Behind Patrick Mahomes” - John Williams, Inside the Star

Dak Prescott has long been one of the most underpaid quarterbacks in the NFL as a former fourth-round pick, so it’s no surprise he wants to cash in now. On Tuesday, Jane Slater reported Prescott is looking for his next contract to be close to that of Patrick Mahomes.

If Prescott is looking to come in right behind Mahomes, as the report suggests, that could mean one of two things.

In terms of average annual value, Mahomes current deal is good for $45 million a year. Second in the NFL in terms of average annual value is Deshaun Watson at $39 million a year. So his representatives could be asking for an average annual value greater than $40 million a year and inching closer to $44 million in average annual value.

However, “right behind” could also mean simply beating Watson’s deal that he signed just before the 2020 season.

Not even the biggest Dak Prescott fan could argue that Prescott is worth more than Patrick Mahomes and it seems his representatives are aware of that as well. But, you can’t rule out Prescott getting more than Watson from the Cowboys based on the similarities of the two quarterback’s resumes.

Dak Prescott Rumors: Cowboys QB Could Be ‘100% by April’ After Ankle Injury - Scott Polacek, Bleacher Report

Dak Prescott suffered a nasty ankle injury that ended his season far too early, but all reports since his surgery have been positive. Tuesday brought more news of the sort, with the expectation that he’ll be back to full health within the next two months.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will reportedly be “fully involved in all offseason work” as he recovers from ankle surgery. According to Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan, Prescott could be “100 percent by April.” He suffered the serious injury during a Week 5 victory over the New York Giants and required two ankle surgeries. Fisher reported the second surgery was more about “strengthening and clean-up.”

A clean bill of health would be welcome news for both sides as they continue negotiations on a long-term deal.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported on Get Up! that Dallas will “probably” use the franchise tag on the Mississippi State product for a second straight year. He added, “It does not sound as if any progress has been made in a long-term extension.”

Peter King expects Cowboys to face Patriots in 17th regular-season game in 2021 - Dallas Morning News Staff

The NFL has the option to expand their regular season schedule to 17 games in 2021, an option that is seemingly very likely, and their confusing formula for deciding that 17th game could lead to a marquee matchup for Dallas.

“When the NFL was choosing options, the formula that prevailed — follow me now — was AFC versus NFC, cross-conference matchup from two years ago, 2021 matchup based on 2020 standings,” King writes. “Now that you’re totally confused, here’s an example: The four AFC West teams played the four NFC North teams in 2019. In 2020, Kansas City finished in first place in the AFC West, Green Bay first in the NFC North. So in 2021, it’s AFC West against NFC North, and 1-versus-1 from ’20 becomes Green Bay versus Kansas City.”

Utilizing that formula, King has the Cowboys, the third-place team in the NFC East, facing the New England Patriots, the third-place team in the AFC East in their 17th game. King also listed the potential game as one of the best matchups, assuming the 17-game slate.

“If it’s not a good game, at least it’ll get ratings out the wazoo,” King said of a potential New England vs. Dallas matchup.

Dallas Cowboys free-agency overview: Finding, keeping depth will be test - Todd Archer, ESPN

In recent years, the Cowboys have become accustomed to signing solid players at a low price to fill out their roster, and have usually had success with that formula. The 2020 season missed the mark, but this offseason is a chance to redeem that mistake.

While they will not be big spenders in free agency because of the Dak Prescott talks and their unwillingness to go after top-price players, the Cowboys will use the period to fill roster holes, especially on a defense that allowed a franchise-record 473 points last season. A case can be made for needs at all levels of the defense.

The Cowboys thought they made solid additions last year in free agency with Gerald McCoy, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Dontari Poe, Daryl Worley and Everson Griffen, but McCoy was hurt in the first padded practice of camp, Clinton-Dix was cut before the season, Poe and Worley were cut during the season and Griffen was traded.

Dallas can’t afford these kinds of misses in 2021.

Jane Slater Highlights Trevon Moehrig, Patrick Surtain as Cowboys 2021 Draft Targets - Matthew Lenix, Inside the Star

The general consensus is that the Cowboys will go after defensive players early and often in the draft after a historically bad season on that side of the ball. On Tuesday, Jane Slater singled out two prospects Dallas is already looking at.

The 2021 NFL draft is right around the corner and the Dallas Cowboys have plenty of holes to fill. One of the most important areas is the Cowboys secondary which they have been trying to get right for quite some time now.

In 2020, the Cowboys found two young studs to build with on the third level of their defense. Cornerback Trevon Diggs had some struggles early in the season and missed four games with a broken foot, but still became the first Cowboys rookie defender to lead the team in interceptions (3) and pass breakups. Strong Safety Donovan Wilson showed promise as a rookie in 2019 until an ankle injury derailed his progress. However, he played in 14 games (10 starts) and produced 71 tackles, two interceptions, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and 3.5 sacks.

With 2017 draftees Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Xavier Woods all headed for free agency, the question becomes who will play opposite Diggs and Wilson in 2021? NFL Network’s Jane Slater highlighted two defensive backs who the Cowboys are keeping an eye on in TCU safety Trevon Moehrig and Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain.

The Cowboys’ 10-step plan for the offseason begins with Dak Prescott - Jon Machota, The Athletic

The Cowboys were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender last year before injuries tanked their season, so this offseason serves as the prime time to get everything in order to capitalize on those expectations in 2021. Here’s a list of things that need to be done.

The [defensive tackle] position hasn’t been a strength for most of the last decade. They have invested a second-round pick (Trysten Hill) and a third-round pick (Neville Gallimore) in the last two drafts. Those two would likely be the starters if the season started today. But they need more help. If there was a tackle worthy of a top 10 pick in this draft class, it would make sense for the Cowboys to consider that player with the 10th overall selection. Since there is not, it’s unlikely the position will be addressed any earlier than the second round.

Antwaun Woods has been solid since joining the team in 2018. He’s a good fit to play the one-technique position in Dallas’ four-man front — he’s also a restricted free agent. Dallas needs another three-technique player, and that might have to be found in free agency. Ndamukong Suh would make a lot of sense if they could afford him and he didn’t re-sign with the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. However, that’s probably not all that realistic.

Dallas is more likely to set its sights on someone much more affordable, like Gerald McCoy or another player nearing the end of their career. McCoy was signed by the Cowboys last offseason but he suffered a season-ending quad injury in training camp. If he’s fully recovered, the Cowboys will likely be interested in the 33-year-old, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

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