NFL Insider: Cowboys Felt Burnt After Dak Prescott's Camp Asked For More Money Following Hot Start In 2019

Josh Clark
May 27, 2020 - 10:10 am
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DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - On Sept. 8, 2019, the Cowboys beat the New York Giants 35-17 in the season opener. Dak Prescott threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns, while having a quarterback rating of 158.3.

After the game, owner Jerry Jones told the media that an agreement on a contract extension with the quarterback was "immenent." Jones described the word "immenent" as "days, or something like that.”

As we all know, days turned into weeks and weeks have turned into months, and the Cowboys and Prescott still have yet to come to an agreement. 

Related: Exclusive: Troy Aikman - 'I Love Dak Prescott; The Dallas Cowboys Will Pay Him'

The Cowboys didn't know it at the time, but that game and the two games that followed gave Prescott's camp the green light to take the negotiations to another level.

We in the media asked the question to Jerry numerous times throughout the season if Prescott's price was fluctuating from game to game. 

On one instance with us at 105.3 The Fan, Jones said, “it’s just not that way" following back-to-back losses in weeks four and five to the Saints and Packers. 

“Let me get that real clear. It’s not impacting that with me at all,” Jones said. “But I do see Dak showing the ability to handle adversity and basically go out and make the kind of plays that win important games for the Cowboys in the future. I see that.”

But that's not the way Dak's representation saw it. At least, for the first three games. 

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports says that after Prescott started out the season as hot as he did (9 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 3-0 record) his camp asked for more money. And that the negotiating tactic didn't sit well with the Joneses. 

"I really don't think they are that far apart. They are just so stubbornly dug in because of how this negotiation has gone at points," Robinson said Wednesday on Shan and RJ on 105.3 The Fan. "The Cowboys could not have felt more burned than they did when they went back to Dak's camp last September (and) the number went up. And that really was a hurtful point. I think they were not only upset at Dak's representation, I think they were a little upset at Dak. It's business, you know. You'd be kidding yourself to sit there and think they were never mad at Zeke (Ezekiel Elliot) during that negotiation. It's germane to the process. 

"I still think that this is something (where) they are actually not that far apart. They're just stuck in the same distance that they have been for a long time. Because of the uncertainties, because of the fact we may have a flat cap in 2021, maybe Dak's side ... there's a little more push to say, 'hey, maybe we should take this, it's a pretty good deal on the table. We'll figure out a way to do it now and smooth out the difference in years at the last minute.'

"But, I'll tell you this. I think if he doesn't get the deal done by July 15th, it's Kirk Cousins all the way. This is a 'I'm going to go to market or I'm going to make you exhaust the tags and absolute maximize my leverage over you.'"

Robinson was then asked to clarify if he was indeed saying that the price changed after Dak's hot start in 2019?

"Yeah, absolutely. That's exactly what happened. I think they were unhappy it was something that didn't get done before the season. There were a lot of signals from the organization in camp and and then really in the beginning of the regluar season that we're going to get this done. And Jerry (Jones) was telling everybody it's going to get done, they were so optimistic about it. And Dak's camp didn't feel that way. They were like, 'look, we're not going to give you the long-term control here.' It was a negotiation that was never great from the start. 

"I've told this story before that, from what I understood, the Cowboys very first number, we're talking way back at the start of the negotiations ... that Dak's camp thought the first number was a low-ball number, and (then they) threw back a number at the Cowboys that was just ridiculous. It was sort of like the meme of the guys flipping each other off, that's kind of how the negotiation started. And as Dak progressed and improved and became more entrenched there as the guy, and went out and performed ... his camp was like, 'we don't have to budge here. We got the guy who's getting better. We have the commodity and he's betting on himself and he's winning right now. They felt like early in the season that he won, when the Cowboys wanted to re-engage and push it again after that start (3-0). They just said, 'look, our price went up and we told you this could happen, and it happened.' That was it. ... It really hasn't changed significantly since that moment in September. ... They're still arguing over the same things they were then."

So, where are the negotiations as we sit here today?

Last week, Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk told 105.3 The Fan that Prescott was seeking $45 million in the fifth year of a new deal in his negotiations with the Cowboys. However, days later, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Dallas and Prescott's representatives never discussed such a deal.