The Dallas Cowboys were not prepared to meet Dak Prescott’s contract demands during negotiations this past offseason. Now a key figure in the organization is admitting that Prescott handled his situation perfectly.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones admitted that Prescott had been right to bet on himself.
“He’s bet on himself and bet wisely,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk. “He’s answered every bell, every call. I think anyone would tell you. I think Dak would tell you. I think his agent would tell you. We’ve put some very, very generous offers on the table. It’s more a principal-type situation on length of term. I think everyone’s got their hand around that’s the problem, and obviously we want a long-term deal because we can spread the money out over more years and give us more years under the salary cap so we can keep these young team, these young players that we have in and around Dak.
“At the same time, he wants a shorter-term deal because he sees how successful the league has been,” Jones added. “The sooner you come up for contract, the sooner you will come up for a bigger raise. That’s been the history of the NFL. So he’s not at fault either. Have nothing but respect for where he’s been and up to this point, I don’t think it’s hurt anybody. He’s obviously made a lot of money this year, and we all know he’s going to make a whole lot more money in the future, and certainly we want it to be right here in Dallas.”
“Dak, obviously, is the elephant in the room,” Jones said. “Everyone knows it. We’ve just got to keep grinding.”
The Cowboys were unable to reach an agreement with Prescott last year. The 26-year-old quarterback went out and passed for a career-high 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns, enhancing his leverage in contract talks.
The Dallas Cowboys should have one of the most reliable backup quarterbacks in football this season, and they saw how important that can be when the division rival Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl two years ago. From the sound of it, the success Nick Foles had in Philly may have factored into the Cowboys’ decision to sign Andy Dalton.
Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones spoke about the Dalton signing on Wednesday, and he likened it to when Foles was the backup behind Carson Wentz with the Eagles.
“To have a guy like Andy Dalton come in here – not unlike what Philly had with Nick Foles when Carson Wentz went down – to be able to take control and win games, win huge games for you if that’s what you need is really important,” Jones said, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Certainly you can lay your head on the pillow better at night knowing you have someone like Andy Dalton.”
The success Foles had with the Eagles is the best-case scenario for a backup quarterback, as he led the team to a title and was named Super Bowl MVP. It would be a leap to say Dalton could do the same, but that season in Philly certainly highlighted the importance of having a reliable backup quarterback.
While the Cowboys’ decision to sign Dalton reportedly had nothing to do with Dak Prescott’s contract situation, Dalton is more than just injury insurance with Prescott negotiating a new deal. He has a ton of starting experience and should be able to keep Dallas afloat in the event of an injury or — though highly unlikely — a holdout.
Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones gave fans some ideas of what the team has planned for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Jones joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas for an interview on Tuesday and talked about some of the team’s draft needs. Jones says the Cowboys will be looking for defensive linemen and secondary help. He also cited wide receiver as a need for the team.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan on draft needs: “You’re getting in a spot where we’re gonna be looking at both the back end and front end on defense, and then obviously after losing Cobb, certainly that’s a position we’d be more than willing to look at too, the WR spot.”
The Cowboys pick No. 17 overall in the first round. They have seven total picks in the draft — one in each round except the sixth. They are picking twice in the fifth round.
The team re-signed Amari Cooper in free agency and franchise-tagged Dak Prescott, with whom they’ve had contract talks. They signed Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy on the defensive line, and they added Ha Ha Clinton-Dix this offseason for their secondary after losing Jeff Heath. They still have Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith along the defensive line but need those players to be reinstated by the NFL, so drafting some defensive linemen as insurance makes sense.
Jerry Jones and his son Stephen have been together in the same room during the NFL Draft every year since the family purchased the Dallas Cowboys back in 1989, but the coronavirus pandemic has created some unprecedented circumstances this year. If there’s one silver lining, however, it’s that Jerry won’t be physically assaulted by Stephen when the Cowboys are making their picks.
There was reportedly some concern from other NFL teams that Jerry, who is the general manager of the Cowboys, and Stephen, who is the CEO and director of player personnel for the team, would be able to share a room together during the draft while all other executives have to be at their respective homes to follow social distancing guidelines. Stephen and Jerry told reporters on Tuesday that they actually will not be together during the event, and Jerry cracked a joke about how he will miss his son kicking him under the table over his decisions.
Jerry Jones said that after drafts his shins used to have bruises due to Stephen Jones kicking him under the table because of decision-making.
"I think I'm going to kind of miss that physical punishment."
While Jerry was clearly making a joke, there may have been some truth to it. There was a story several years ago about how Stephen had to physically restrain his father to stop him from turning in a draft card with Johnny Manziel’s name on it. Stephen also reportedly talked Jerry out of trading up to draft former Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, who turned out to a be a huge bust with the Denver Broncos.
The real question is who will be the one turning in the official picks to the NFL this weekend. If it’s Jerry, Cowboys fans may want to fasten their seatbelts.
Dak Prescott appeared to deny through his camp earlier this week that he violated social distancing guidelines by hosting a party at his home on Saturday, but the Dallas Cowboys do not seem pleased with him or Ezekiel Elliott.
“We’ve certainly communicated with Dak and Zeke. I think they’re certainly aware now of how sensitive these situations are and I don’t think you’ll be seeing that anymore,” Jones said. “They are certainly guys we have the utmost respect for. I certainly know they understand the sensitivity of the situation we’re in, it’s certainly very serious and something we know they understand.”
Prescott reportedly hosted a party for a friend’s birthday at his home, and witnesses said there were about 30 people present. Police were called to the house, but they simply reminded the residents of the social distancing guidelines that are in place both nationally and in the state of Texas. A person close to Prescott denied that the quarterback threw a party and said there were less than 10 people there.
The NFL announced this week that a fully virtual draft will be held this year, and naturally teams have plenty of concerns about what the process will look like. One of those concerns revolves around the Dallas Cowboys and the Jones family.
In an effort to maintain a level playing field and assure team personnel are following social distancing guidelines, the NFL has informed teams their scouts, executives, and other staffers must work remotely from their own homes during the NFL Draft. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that some teams are bothered by the fact that Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones will likely be able to work from the same location since they are family.
It’s unclear if the NFL plans to address that concern, but it seems like a gray area. Jerry is the general manager of the Cowboys and Stephen is the director of player personnel, among other titles. Both are involved in the process of deciding which players to draft, but can the NFL really tell a father and son they can’t be in the same household during the coronavirus pandemic?
Schefter also noted that teams are concerned about hacking, as talent evaluators will have to communicate with one another via zoom video conferences.
There could still be plenty of changes in the next few weeks, but the NFL is determined to not allow the coronavirus outbreak to impact its offseason schedule. Teams have essentially been told not to complain publicly about the decision to proceed with the draft, but there is plenty of frustration around the league.
The rumors about the Dallas Cowboys chasing after Sean Payton just won’t go away and have now garnered an on-the-record denial from the franchise.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones denied reports that the organization reached out through backchannels to speak to the New Orleans Saints coach last offseason. Jones also gave another vote of confidence to Jason Garrett.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones was asked on @1053thefan about the team reportedly reaching out to Saints head coach Sean Payton through back channels last offseason: pic.twitter.com/zhQdVyC04e
Jones is correct: the Cowboys have stood firmly by Garrett during his entire tenure, even when his time as coach got off to a mediocre start. That hasn’t stopped the Payton rumors, which have lingered for a long time.
While Garrett may be on his last legs as coach of the Cowboys, Payton just signed a five-year extension with the Saints back in September. It’s unlikely that he walks away from that pact so quickly.
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys seem unlikely to come to an agreement on a contract extension this late into the regular season, but that does not mean discussions have been tabled altogether.
Stephen Jones was asked a question about Colin Kaepernick’s upcoming workout during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan Friday, and the Cowboys executive vice president said the team will not be sending a representative largely because they are satisfied with their quarterback situation. Jones also said Dallas is focused on trying to sign Prescott to a long-term extension.
"It's our understanding is the tape will be put out for the rest of the league. We'll look at that. We're really happy with our quarterbacks and we're working hard to sign Dak." – Stephen Jones on Jerry saying they wouldn't have a rep at CK7 workout.
A recent report claimed Prescott is likely to be franchise tagged this offseason, but that does not necessarily mean he will have to play under a one-year deal in 2020. If the two sides have made progress toward a new contract by then, the franchise tag might only serve to give them more time to come to an agreement.
If Jason Garrett truly was on the hot seat entering Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, that seat must now be scalding. However, the Dallas Cowboys continue to insist publicly that their head coach is not going anywhere.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Monday that he still feels “great” about Garrett and the rest of the coach’s staff. He reiterated once again that the rumors about Garrett potentially losing his job are untrue.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones was asked on @1053thefan if Jason Garrett is on the hot seat: “Absolutely not. This team just needs to get a win under its belt. I still think we can have a great year. I feel good about it. Feel great about Jason and his staff.”
That may be the case at the moment, but things have a way of changing quickly in the NFL. The Cowboys have an important divisional game upcoming against the Philadelphia Eagles next week before their bye, and one team source told Jane Slater of NFL Network that there could be bigger questions to answer if Dallas loses that game.
A #Cowboys source just now when I posed the question on Jason Garrett’s job security “Too early to jump ship too early to build one too. The thing is you can look up and we’re 13-3 or hell 3-13. Right now it’s premature to take either side.” But adds, “circle back next Monday. “
The Cowboys have now lost three games in a row, but the circumstances have not been easy. They lost road games to the Jets and New Orleans Saints and fell at home last week to the Green Bay Packers, who look like one of the better teams in the NFC. They also entered Sunday’s game without starting offensive linemen Tyron Smith and La’El Collins. Randall Cobb was unable to play and Amari Cooper left early with a quad injury, so some things have been out of Garrett’s control.