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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott ‘not attempting to be the best paid essentially;’ addresses risk of leaving Dallas

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DALLAS, Texas —  The Dallas Cowboys‘ 2024 offseason has felt totally different than previous offseasons for a wide range of causes.

For the primary time within the their string of three consecutive 12-win seasons, Dallas was humiliated within the postseason with a 48-32 faceplant of a defeat in opposition to the seventh-seeded Inexperienced Bay Packers. The earlier two years ended with one possession losses in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers

One other trigger for a unique really feel across the Cowboys this time of yr was after all the shift from proprietor and basic supervisor Jerry Jones saying Dallas could be  “all in” to then saying they’re going to “get it finished with much less” after letting many starters stroll in free company and principally re-signing their very own depth gamers. Veteran 32-year-old linebacker Erick Kendricks signing a one-year deal is the crown jewel of the Cowboys’ 2024 offseason. 

A lot of the blame for the Cowboys spending an NFL-low $13.7 million in free company and just below $20 million lower than the following most cost-effective staff — the New Orleans Saints ($32.2 million) — per, is their incapacity to get 2023 Second-Staff All-Professional quarterback Dak Prescott and 2023 First-Staff All-Professional vast receiver CeeDee Lamb re-signed to new offers to unfold out their cap hits. The lack to take action and the following inactivity surprises even Cowboys Corridor of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. 

“That might in all probability be truthful,” Aikman mentioned Friday on the Kids’s Most cancers Fund’s “A Knight to Bear in mind” gala when requested if he was shocked concerning the Cowboys’ offseason inactivity. “I believed they’d have taken care of Dak already. You guys observe it nearer than I do. I do not know what the sport plan is. I do know that everybody concluded loads about Jerry’s feedback in Cell about being all in  and what that may seem like, so I believe it is caught lots of people unexpectedly. … I do suppose there’s quite a lot of scrutiny each offseason with each staff as to what they’re doing or what they did not do or what they did that everybody thinks was so good. Typically all that performs out nicely within the fall, typically it would not. That is what this staff goes to be judged on. … It’ll be judged on what they do within the common season and extra importantly what they do within the postseason subsequent yr.”

Aikman acknowledged that he felt the 2023 Cowboys, who received the NFC East and have been the convention’s No. 2 seed, have been able to reaching rather more than they did. 

“Possibly a bit of bit from Cowboys followers that I come throughout,” Aikman mentioned when requested if he thinks disappointment from the postseason loss to the Packers is lingering greater than previous years’ playoff disappointments. “Clearly, there was quite a lot of frustration with how final yr ended and nobody was extra annoyed than the staff themselves. No one anticipated that. No one cares what I am doing, however I did not make journey plans [at that time] as a result of I deliberate on going to San Francisco for the [NFC] championship recreation. That is how assured I used to be that this staff was going to do one thing. It was a staff that felt good all yr lengthy. … Sadly for a staff that is received so many video games is that they simply have not performed their finest soccer when the video games have mattered most and when you do not try this, you fall quick, which is what has occurred to them.”

Dak Prescott centered on residing ‘within the now’

The Cowboys’ “getting it finished with much less” offseason mantra will doubtless make life more durable on Prescott, however he stays assured Dallas can pull a number of contributors out of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft

“I am simply centered on the fellows that we’ve got. I do know we acquired quite a lot of nice guys, quite a lot of good that that is returning in that locker room,” Prescott mentioned Friday on the similar occasion when requested about Dallas’ inactive offseason. “I say good, however I imply nice, and younger guys which might be good which might be making that subsequent step So, clearly I think about these guys which have at all times finished nicely within the draft and bringing some guys in. Hopefully that’ll make a big effect. I believe proper now for me, it is about simply specializing in the locker room and pouring into these guys. I do not management that aspect and making these strikes. So I am not going to place an excessive amount of thought and and angst into it and what we’re doing and the way we’re getting that finished. Quite simply how I can put money into the fellows and ensuring that they are getting higher and holding myself accountable to do the identical.”

As for his contractual future, which can have an effect on Dallas’ wage cap administration for years to come back somehow, that is at present on maintain as he and Jones’ negotiations are at present on pause. 

“Actually, I am centered on the second within the now,” Prescott mentioned when requested if his deal must get finished by the beginning of the 2024 season. “If the talks start and, and actual talks get to occur, positive we will discuss getting that finished. However on this case, proper now truthfully, I am anxious about simply getting higher, being higher tomorrow than I’m at this second. So leaving that as much as my agent and Jerry at this level, and when these talks start, I will be extra concerned clearly.”

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Prescott clarified the 2 sides have had contract talks this offseason, however there is not something essentially imminent in the intervening time. 

“I’ve talked to Jerry, and so I perceive the place we’re clearly,” Prescott mentioned. “Jerry talked about the identical. There’s not any grey space in that sense. We had an excellent dialog that put us aligned in the place we’re on this second, and we’ll deal with transferring ahead as that comes about.”

His prime vast receiver CeeDee Lamb, who led the NFL with 135 catches and set the Cowboys’ single season information for catches and receiving yards (1,749) at age 24 final season, can also be getting into the ultimate yr of his present deal like Prescott. Not like the Dallas quarterback, Lamb is at present skipping the voluntary offseason exercises, however that will not get in the best way of the 2 working collectively this offseason. 

“Yeah for positive, we’ll get some work in,” Prescott mentioned. “I have been in communications with CeeDee. That is there. We’ll get work in and whether or not it is him getting within the facility, perhaps a deal will get finished. If it would not, I assure that we nonetheless discover quite a lot of time to ensure that we’re placing within the work that we really feel comfy.”

Every new quarterback contract of late — Jalen Hurts‘ (5 years, $255 million), Lamar Jackson’s (5 years, $260 million), Justin Herbert’s (5 years, $262.5 million) and Joe Burrow’s (5 years, $275 million) — has turn into the NFL’s largest contract of all time by way of common annual wage. How groups construction these offers, nonetheless, has various, and Prescott might be versatile in that structural space of his contract talks. 

“I am not attempting to be the best paid, essentially,” Prescott mentioned. “I will wait till negotiations start. I clearly need to put this staff in one of the best scenario. I am centered on right here, proper now the place I’m. That is at all times how I have been. Anytime you have requested me, it is at all times been about proper now. Getting higher tomorrow, and I have been on this scenario earlier than, so it is OK. I am fantastic in any scenario at that time, betting on myself or enjoying this yr out.”

Ideally, the Louisiana native who grew up a Cowboys fan and rooted for Tony Romo, whom he succeeded as Dallas’ quarterback, would love to stay with the franchise long-term. Nonetheless, he’ll settle for a soccer future with a unique staff if a deal can’t be reached by subsequent offseason. Prescott controls the leverage within the talks since he possesses a clause barring him from being franchise-tagged once more in addition to a no-trade clause

“I really like this recreation like to play and love to raised myself as a participant and my teammates round me,” Prescott mentioned. “Proper now it is with the Dallas Cowboys. That is the place I need to be, and that is the place I’m. That is the main target. After the season, we’ll see the place we’re at and if the longer term holds that [staying with the Cowboys long term]. “If not, we’ll go from there.”

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