Stephen Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ executive vice president, started the public game of negotiating contracts for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper with comments made after the team’s golf outing on Wednesday. According to Jon Machota, Jones referenced not wanting to “max out” on the contracts for either player, touting the benefits of being able to pay other good players if those upcoming free agents will play nice and take a little less. These comments just so happen to come shortly after a report that Dallas could pay Prescott more than $30 million per year.
Jones is putting this out there to put public pressure on Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, as well as Ezekiel Elliott, to provide team-friendly deals. Prescott and Cooper are both free agents after the 2019 season. The Cowboys already exercised the fifth-year option on Elliott, which would keep him under contract through the 2020 season.
Jones played the “there are lots of benefits to being a Dallas Cowboy” card, trying to publicly put out there that if they take deals that are not what they could get elsewhere, they could still make it up eventually.
“And we all know what happens, you look at the TV booths and look at what these players do off the field,” Jones said. “If we can put Super Bowl rings on these guys, they’ll be legends around this area for many, many, many years to come.”
Basically, Jones is saying that the Cowboys are so popular and make so much money that they shouldn’t have to pay the same deal as other teams, because those players can make money elsewhere. It’s doubtful that will be convincing for Prescott. He has been one of the biggest values at QB in recent years, but has spent three seasons getting paid well below starters on the team and well below what even backup quarterbacks are making around the league. He is likely ready for his time to earn what he is owed.