FRISCO – “What you do speaks so loudly,” Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with writing, “that I cannot hear what you say.”
The Dallas Cowboys front office has been unflinching in its public support of quarterback Dak Prescott and its plan to provide him with a “Cowboys for Life” contract extension. But his existing agreement is set to expire after the 2024 season, and all the offseason talk of “waking up one morning” to a done deal has so far just been talk.
And suddenly, subtly, there seems to be a new timetable.
“He’s under contract now, but we’d like to do this after the season,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones recently told Diana Russini of The Athletic. “Once the season is over, we will focus on that. Dak will be our quarterback.”
“Dak will be our quarterback”? There is nothing shocking there. The quarterback will count almost $59.455 million against the cap next season, an untenable number that was always designed to eventually be massaged. But now “eventually” has become “once the season is over”?
That’s new. And it leads to a pair of natural conclusions …
One, neither side wants the distraction of contract negotiations occurring in a way that might take away from on-field focus for a 4-2 Dallas team that believes Prescott can help to Super Bowl contention.
And/or two, Jerry and Stephen Jones, reluctant to say it quite this way, are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward what sort of contract is merited by Prescott’s 2023 performance.With the beginning of the NFL year in March 2024 as a deadline of sorts, it has always made financial sense to do a deal like this sooner rather than later … unless there is some question about exactly what the player is worth.
The Cowboys have made their bed here. CowboysSI.com recently asked owner Jerry Jones if a new deal for Prescott was about paying him for his talent or about having to re-sign him in order to keep the cap manageable.
“Both,” Jerry told us. … and that is a naked truth that at some time will be revealed in ways that are no longer about loud talk, but rather, about critical action.