In early January, Cowboys Executive VP Stephen Jones stressed the importance of re-signing quarterback Dak Prescott, and soon. It’s now late February, and Jones said the Cowboys have yet to met or negotiate with Prescott’s agent since last September.
Jones insisted Monday at the NFL Scouting Combine that a different negotiation has been the primary holdup in theirs.
"We’ve been wanting to see how this labor agreement is going to go," he said. "Obviously, it makes a big difference on a contract this big. Obviously, we’re optimistic and our goal is to get it done before you have to tag, the last day to tag."
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The NFL and the NFL Players Association recently agreed to push back the tag window to Feb. 27 through March 12. The NFLPA board is also slated to vote on the proposed CBA on Tuesday. Jones noted he hopes to meet with Prescott’s representation in Indianapolis this week but that nothing formal is scheduled.
He also intimated the team still wants to lock up its Pro Bowl QB for multiple years.
"I’m not going to get into any of the details of the contract and franchising and that type of thing," Jones said. "Our goal is to get it done with Dak. I know he wants to be here. We want him to be here long-term and he’s our guy. We’ve got nothing but the highest regards for him and we want to get the deal done."
If the two sides can’t agree on terms, which is what happened during their last negotiation before the season, look for the Cowboys to tag Prescott. Jones shot down the notion the Cowboys are considering moving on from the four-year starter.
"Absolutely not. Dak is our quarterback," Jones said. "He’s our quarterback for the future and we have nothing but the greatest respect for him. He’s a competitor. He’s won a lot of football games for us. Obviously, he, like us, all want to take to that next step and get in to a championship game and get to the big game and ultimately win a championship."
The Cowboys appeared to move further from that goal in 2019 despite a career year from Prescott. The 26-year-old signal caller set career highs in passing yards, yards per attempt and touchdowns, only to have the Dallas defense regress and the team stumble to an 8-8 mark.
Jones reiterated feeling like the Cowboys were close to an agreement with Prescott last summer. NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported a sticking point was contract length, with Prescott looking for a shorter term at a higher annual value. Six months later, the price will be seemingly higher. Prescott is ranked No. 1 in NFL.com’s Top 101 free agents of 2020.
"I just don’t think we’ve had our hands around what the next steps are," Jones said of the stall in negotiations. "Obviously we didn’t end up getting it done because they were pretty entrenched with their thoughts and we were pretty entrenched with our thoughts and that’s really the facts of where we were. Certainly we’ve done a lot of thinking about it and looking at it and we’ll see where we end up."
Other nuggets from Jones’ media scrum:
» Jones met with wide receiver Amari Cooper’s agent at the Super Bowl but they didn’t discuss contract details because of the lingering CBA deal. Cooper is No. 3 on NFL.com’s list of top free agents.
"The way I look at these contracts, especially the two we’re talking about, when things get momentum they can happen in 24 hours," he said. "It’s just a matter of can you get some traction and head in the right direction. Sometimes time is not a good thing. Having a short fuse is a good thing."
» Wide receiver Dez Bryant was in the news lately after working out with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes a block away from the Star in Frisco, Texas. The 31-year-old wideout has not appeared in an NFL game since he was a member of the Cowboys in 2017. With Bryant making it clear on social media he’s eager to get back in the league, Jones did not rule out a possible reunion in Dallas.
"We’ll go over that as a staff as we move forward," Jones said. "Obviously our focus has been our own guys and guys we had here last year. As we start to expand the web, we will look at things like that."
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