Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys haven’t reached a full-blown impasse in contract negotiations, but the two sides have reportedly entered into “a lull.” Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report recently wrote that what is looking more like a stalemate than anything could lead to the two sides failing to reach a deal before a July 15 deadline.
Conway pointed to comments made by Jeremy Fowler on Sunday on ESPN’s SportsCenter as evidence the extension talks are not going well.
“There’s been a bit a lull in negotiations with the Cowboys, so both sides continue to talk this up. I’m told they should be ready for anything, including the possibility of pressing up against that July 15 deadline for the franchise tag.”
Fowler added there are several obstacles in play. Chief among those is the length of any contract. The Cowboys are said to want a longer deal, somewhere in the neighborhood of five to seven years. Prescott, on the other hand, is reported to want more flexibility. The analyst said while progress to find middle ground has been relatively steady, it’s been slow.
If Prescott and the Cowboys cannot get a long term contract signed by July 15, they’ll be forced to go through the 2020 season on the franchise tag contract. The two sides will then have to go through the same process in 2021, assuming the team tags its quarterback again.
Just who should be held responsible for the apparent “lull” depends on who is asked. The Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones recently spoke with Pro Football Talk and put the impasse squarely on Prescott’s shoulders.
“I know at the end of the day everybody is out there [saying], ‘How have you not paid Dak?’ At the same time, Dak has to, we’ve tried to pay him, and he has to accept what we want to pay him,” was part of the conversation seen via Twitter.
Jones added he and owner Jerry Jones aren’t trying to lowball the quarterback in order to pocket more money themselves. He called the salary cap a “zero-sum game” and said the team is trying to navigate as best it can.
Jones also made a claim Conway called into question. During the interview, the front office exec said there are “analytics” that show a team does poorly if its quarterback takes up too big a portion of its salary cap dollars. Conway said he hasn’t seen any statistics that show a quarterback’s performance is tied — in any way — to how much money he makes.
Blame for the lack of an agreement isn’t the only thing being handed out liberally. Depending on who is asked, there are plenty of opinions about who should give in and get a deal done. One of Prescott’s former teammates, Dez Bryant, is firmly in the camp of giving the quarterback whatever terms he wants. On the flipside is Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Theismann who believes Prescott should immediately take what the Cowboys are offering.