Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is going to get paid.
That’s the word from owner Jerry Jones.
It will happen sometime in the next two years. And given the $137 million contract recently given to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo and the expected deals of more than $30 million a year for free agent Kirk Cousins and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Jones understands has no choice but to pay Prescott top dollar.
Jones readily acknowledges as much.
It’s also why Jones feels a sense of urgency to win now when Prescott is playing for peanuts relative to most top quarterbacks.
Picked in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Prescott signed a four-year, $2.7 million deal. He has clearly outplayed his contract, which calls for him to make $630,000 in 2018 and $720,000 in 2019.
The Cowboys can sign Prescott to a new deal after the 2018 season.
Jones said his time is coming. But the Cowboys need to use the current situation to their advantage and win now.
“We need to take advantage of structuring and putting this team together at the contract level that we’ve got right here,” Jones said. “He’s going to get his extraordinary contract. But while we can put the team together and take advantage when he is on this contract right now, we’ve got to be real astute to maximize that advantage. We’re a team that has a high-priced offensive line, and it gets a break with Dak right now. It gives us a chance to do some things on defense. This basic dynamic of salary structure won’t be with us but for a year or two. So I guess what I’m trying to say is we need to take advantage of where our contracts are.”
Jones said the Cowboys are going to do their best to help Prescott reach his full potential and get that contract.
That’s certainly what the offensive changes during the off-season have been about _ to make the offense more “Dak-friendly”, per Jones.
Jones said the Cowboys would like to use Prescott’s legs as a weapon a little more. He doesn’t mean more running back, but rather using more of the college style plays that allow him to run and pass.
"I think it's an offense that lets him be unpredictable," Jones said. "It gives him the best way to be hard for the defense in the sense of game planning for him. I'd certainly love for him to be able to hurt them from the pocket. We'd love for him to be able to hurt them on the run, and to run.
"We're not necessarily interested in increasing the number of runs. I think we've got a lot more options as far as how to get him on the run in the passing game, and giving him a better pocket and having better blocking. You might say protection, but the way to get that done is to be imaginative in the running game.
"Some of the college stuff needs to be thought about here. That's a big part of the conversation that's going on [among the staff]."