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Friday, August 23, 2019

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones: Dak Prescott is in ‘top tier’ of NFL quarterbacks

Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott have not been able to come to an agreement on a contract for the quarterback, but that’s not due to a lack of confidence from the team in Prescott’s ability.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke about Prescott’s contract status. The owner said the Cowboys do not doubt what Dak can do, unlike others who say he is not worthy of being paid like a top-tier QB.

“Again, coming up on the money is really not that issue with Dak,” Jones said via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “A lot of people question whether Dak is one of the guys who need to be in the top tier. I have never questioned that. That is what this is showing you. I don’t think there is any doubt that he is at the top level of paid quarterbacks. There is no question in my mind about that. Now how we make this all fit to have the best team around him, that is what we are trying to work on.”

A report just over a week ago said Prescott turned down a contract offer from the Cowboys that would have paid him over $30 million per season. Terms of the offer, such as the ever-important issue of guaranteed money, were not reported. That was followed up by a report saying Prescott was seeking $40 million, though that report was shot down.

The Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr. says there is “no question” Prescott turned down a deal from the Cowboys for $30 million per season.

Prescott, who was taken in the fourth round by the Cowboys in 2016, is set to make just over $2 million this season, making him one of the biggest bargains in the league. However, he’s set to be a free agent after the season, and the Cowboys would prefer to work out a long-term deal with him.

Ezekiel Elliott thought latest comment from Jerry Jones was ‘disrespectful’

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott has yet to report to the Dallas Cowboys as he seeks a new contract, and team owner Jerry Jones has maintained all offseason that he is not overly concerned about the situation. But the latest remark Jones made about the star running back apparently did not sit well with him.

After rookie Tony Pollard rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on just five carries in the Cowboys’ preseason game Saturday night, Jones joked with reporters by saying, “Zeke who?” On Monday, Elliott’s agent Rocky Arceneaux said both he and Elliott found the quip “disrespectful.”

Jones was obviously joking, and he later said he is excited about the way Pollard might be able to “complement” Elliott but knows Zeke cannot be replaced. Still, you can understand why it irked Elliott given the current state of negotiations between him and the Cowboys, which ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says is inactive.

Jones is known for shelling out big contracts to his star players, but this is not the first time he has indicated he is going to play hardball with Elliott. We’ll see if that continues as Week 1 draws nearer.

Jerry Jones not worried about Ezekiel Elliott holdout

Ezekiel Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys on Saturday played their first preseason game of 2019, and they were doing so without Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott has not reported to the team and is officially a training camp holdout as he seeks a new contract. Though Elliott has missed the start of training camp and the first preseason game, the start of the regular season is still about a month away. Team owner Jerry Jones says he is not worried about the running back’s holdout, calling the season a “marathon.”

Elliott is under contract to make $3.8 million this season and $9.1 million next season. The low salaries make the two-time NFL rushing champion a bargain, which is why he wants to secure more money, especially since running backs tend to wear down faster than players who play other positions.

If the Cowboys’ only issue were signing Elliott, that would be one thing. But they also are weighing how much money they can spend on Elliott considering they also want to sign Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper long term. Jones has previously suggested a great running back was not needed to win a Super Bowl.

Jerry Jones does not see point of Ezekiel Elliott holdout carrying on

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones seems to be taking a rigid stance against Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout.

Elliott is entering the fourth season of his rookie deal and set to make $3.8 million in base salary. The team has a $9.1 million option on him for 2020. The total price tag is a bargain for Zeke, who has won the rushing title in two of his three seasons. He is seeking a contract extension that will pay him commensurate to his ability and has not reported to Dallas Cowboys training camp yet.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Jones said he doesn’t see a point to Elliott’s holdout continuing.

Elliott needs to report to training camp by Aug. 6 in order to receive credit for a year towards unrestricted free agency, so it seems likely he will report by then. However, he could gamble by extending his holdout in hopes of forcing the Cowboys to cave and give him a long-term deal. In that scenario, years towards free agency wouldn’t matter so long as he has monetary security from Dallas.

Jones also addressed his comment that a team does not need a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl.

Ultimately Jones seems to have confidence that he will be able to get a deal done.

Jerry Jones on Ezekiel Elliott: You can win Super Bowl without rushing champion

Jerry Jones

Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys are locked in a contract negotiation stalemate, and team owner Jerry Jones has made it fairly clear where he stands on the matter.

Jones spoke with CBS 11 Sports on Sunday about Elliott’s holdout, and he stopped just barely short of saying he believes the Cowboys could win a Super Bowl without the star running back. Jones pointed out how Emmitt Smith was the first running back to win the rushing title in a season when his team — the 1993 Cowboys — won a championship.

“The point there is, you don’t have to have a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl. Emmitt was the first one to do it,” Jones said. “That’s one of the dilemmas at running back is that the league knows that you can win Super Bowls and not have the Emmitt Smith back there or not have Zeke back there.”

What Jones meant is that the Cowboys are trying to find a way to sign Elliott to an extension while also leaving enough money to address other positions. Because so many teams have been successful without star running backs, he believes that makes it difficult to determine the market value for the position.

“You’ve gotta do all of the things along with having Zeke that allow you to have other players so that you can win the Super Bowl,” he said. “That’s what we’re going through.”

Jones isn’t wrong. The defending champion New England Patriots would be a perfect example, as they almost never spend big on the running back position and have won six championships since 2002. That said, there’s no debating how important Elliott has been to the Cowboys’ offense, as evidenced by the 2,000 total yards of offense he accounted for last season.

Elliott has two years remaining on his rookie contract, which doesn’t give him much leverage. He decided not to show up to training camp last week, and it sounds like he plans to stay pretty far away from the team if he doesn’t get a long-term extension.

Jerry Jones awkwardly avoids question about Jason Garrett

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones awkwardly avoided a question about the future of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett when speaking with the media on Friday.

Jones was sitting alongside Garrett when asked by a reporter what he needs to see from the coach to extend Garrett’s contract. Jones twice pretended like he couldn’t hear the question before laughing and saying “next question” as he avoided it.

Garrett is entering the final year of his contract as Cowboys head coach. Teams and coaches typically prefer to avoid such “lame duck” situations, but that’s the situation both sides are in this season.

Jones has long held loyal to Garrett, who has been the team’s head coach since taking over for Wade Phillips during the 2010 season. The team has had three winning seasons in a row and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs last year. Jones likely wants to see more signs of success from this year’s team before committing to Garrett again.

Jerry Jones thrilled that Odell Beckham Jr is out of NFC East

Jerry Jones

The Odell Beckham Jr trade has been well received even in places other than Cleveland.

Jerry Jones was interviewed before Saturday night’s Errol Spence Jr/Mikey Garcia fight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and the subject of the Beckham trade came up. The Dallas Cowboys owner is thrilled Beckham is no longer in the same division and said “thank you, thank you, thank you” to Cleveland for acquiring him.

Dallas won the division last season at 10-6. With Washington having quarterback problems and the Giants looking like a mess now, the division looks likely to come down to Dallas and Philadelphia next season. Not having to face Beckham twice a season is probably a break for the defensive coordinators and cornerbacks in the division.

And if you think Jones is happy about the Beckham trade, wait til you see this guy’s reaction to it.