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Cowboys-Dak Prescott contract timeline: QB provides latest update, vows CeeDee Lamb will be ready for season

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott enters the upcoming 2024 season on the final year of his four-year, $160 million contract while carrying a cap hit of $55.5 million, the second-highest in the entire NFL in 2024 behind only Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s $63.8 million cap charge.ย 

There was plenty of urgency for Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones to get a long-term extension done with Prescott, the 2023 NFL MVP runner-up after leading the league with 36 touchdown passes, prior to the start free agency because spreading out his cap hits could have allowed for Dallas to be active this offseason. Now that the opportunity to do so has passed, the impetus now for Jones to get a deal done with Prescott is simply to avoid another market jump like the one that occurred when the Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed quarterback Trevor Lawrence to a five-year, $275 million extension on June 13. That could happen with both Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also seeking new deals entering the last year of their existing ones in 2024.ย 

According to what Prescott himself said Tuesday, the negotiations are still ongoing. While this update sounds obvious, both Prescott and Jones revealed that “real talks” had yet to beginย at the end of April just before the start of the 2024 NFL Draft.ย 

“There’s been conversations back and forth, but for the most part for me as y’all know, I let my agent (Todd France) do that, especially as we get right here into training camp,” Prescott said Tuesday, via The Athletic, ย at his camp in Southlake, Texas. “Day 1 of training camp, my mind flips to obviously helping my team and just doing everything I can within the organization and on the football field to make sure that I’m my best and everyone around me is their best. The money and all that will take care of itself as it always has.”

In order to keep up with how his contract talks, or at times lack thereof, have progressed throughout the offseason, here is a timeline of what Prescott and Jones have said about this topic over the last few months.

  • March 1 — “I’m definitely confident,” Prescott saidย when asked about getting a deal done with the Cowboys. “Obviously, it helps the team. It’s important for the (salary cap) numbers. I’ve heard Jerry say that. That is a process. Both sides understand that. Everything is great. It’ll happen.”ย  ย ย 
  • April 23 — “Who in the world would think that we’re not working on it?” Jerry Jones saidย at his pre-draft press conference. “I work on it at two in the morning sometimes. What your actual question is why don’t you have something done and negotiated and put in the drawer? We’d like to see some more leaves fall. We’d like to see some more action. …. You may give money to somebody that you shouldn’t have given it to. … To say that you’re not working on it or going is not the right answer. The difference is the style. It’s on your mind. It’d be madness not to know that the contracts are ahead. …. You got trouble with what the timing is around here because I’m not ready to go.” ย 
  • April 23 — “You’re asking me if I worry about things going up. Not worry, but I probably have as good of feel as anybody living on this earth what the cap is going to be three years from now, four years from now, five years from now. I really do,” Jerry Jones said. “We’ve got exceptional insight into where the cap is going to be.” ย 
  • April 23 — “I, first of all, respect how Dak handles his business, period, as much as any player or any person that I’ve been associated with. I think that we should realize that talks, quote “talks” … ย is not a barometer, of whether you’re close to a deal, at all,” Jerry Jonesย said. “To be very candid, this is pro football. It has to do with the allocation of your resources, which happens to be cap space.” ย 
  • April 23 — “We want Dak Prescott. That’s that,” Jerry Jones added. “There’s no question that Mike’s (McCarthy) focus, not that he didn’t have focus, but how [Prescott] improved last year. I give Mike a lot of credit for that. That improvement demonstrated to me there’s more as far as ultimately winning what we’re trying to do here. … We think that there’s room for growth. He is absolutely unsurpassed as what he is as an individual with his work ethic, what he brings with his leadership and everything about what you would think about as a quarterback. So he’s got that. He’s had a few hits, but everybody has that too … This wouldn’t even be my response if we were in a different place relative to the cap. … That’s our challenge and to make it work out. Dak as the quarterback of the Cowboys, I don’t even have a blink on that one.” ย 
  • May 22 — “Business is business. I’ll leave it where it gets handled,” Prescott saidย at Cowboys OTAs. “Right now, it’s about being my best for this team right now in this moment. OTAs is helping these guys out and just focused on that and I know my business will take care of itself. Been in it before, experienced (in talks with Jerry and Stephen Jones) and just controlling what I can right now.”
  • May 22 — “I don’t play for money,” Prescott added. “Never have cared for it to be honest with you. Yeah. Would give it up just to play this game. So I allow that to the business people to say what it’s worth what they’re supposed to give a quarterback of my play. A person of my play, leader of my play. For me, it’s about as I said, control what I can control and handle that part and the rest will take care of itself.” ย ย 
  • June 5 — “I don’t mind it. I’ve been in this position before,” Prescott saidย when asked about being in long-winded negotiations. “I’m a gambling man. Will gamble on myself and my guys โ€ฆNot actually guys,’ Prescott said laughing. “I understand there’s been a lot of shit with that. Not that way.”

Why Prescott is adamant CeeDee Lamb will be ready for 2024 season despite holdout

Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb led the NFL in catches with 135 at the age of 24 in 2023. Entering the final season of his rookie deal on his fully-guaranteed, fifth-year option worth just under $18 million, he has decided to hold out for a long-term extension. Unlike Prescott, he is searching for his first non-rookie contract of his NFL career.ย 

Lamb has already incurred over $100,000 in fines for skipping out on the team’s offseason program, including mandatory minicamp, but Prescott remains adamant his top target will be ready for the 2024.

“CeeDee is going to be ready,” Prescott ย said Tuesday, via The Athletic, at his camp in Southlake, Texas.

This has been Prescott’s messaging throughout the offseason when talking about Lamb.ย 

“For me and everybody else, as I said, in a sense it’s OK that he’s not here,” Prescott said on May 22 at Cowboys OTAs. “That’s a big-time player, and he’s training and we know that he’s doing (that), he’s fine. I’ve thrown with him a couple of times. … He’s ready to go. He looks like CeeDee Lamb.” ย 

Ultimately, this feels like a deal that will get done. Perhaps it comes at the start of training camp like Pro Bowl cornerback Trevon Diggs‘ five-year, $97 million contract a year ago since Dallas cannot afford for Lamb’s absence to extend into the regular season. Jones knows this, as he spoke highly of Lamb’s importance at his pre-draft press conference at the end of April.ย 

“I think CeeDee’s one of the best players in the NFL,” Jerry Jones said on April 23. “I think he’s very instrumental because of his position to quarterback success, personally. I think if you look at complementary football, he does it all there for you. He’s multifaceted in where we can line him up, the type things we can use him for. He’s dedicated in his practice and he’s sound physically. That puts him really right there at the top as far as a player. I’m trying to answer your question. I guess the answer is without saying anymore, I think he’s one of the top players in the NFL.”

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Author: Garrett Podell
July 9, 2024 | 2:10 pm

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