It was a simple question to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott after OTA practice on Wednesday.
The answered proved to be a little more complicated than the one given.
Do Prescott and the other players fully understand that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is in the final year of his contract and is essentially coaching for his job in 2019?
“So am I,” Prescott said. “There’s no difference. We’re both in our last year. It’s not talked about. It’s not discussed.”
Prescott went on to say the receiver Amari Cooper, tackle La’el Collins and cornerback Byron Jones are also in their last year.
Of course, there is a huge difference. The Cowboys are actively involved in negotiations with Cooper and Prescott on long-term contract extensions with the stated desire of keeping them as foundational pieces for the future.
Everyone knows those deals will get done at some point.
“Look, this organization is extremely loyal to signing their own players,” tight end Jason Witten said. “They believe in that. I think when it all kind of clears out, that will be the same thing. I think these players know that — Amari, Zeke, Dak — that those things get resolved because both sides want to be there.
“I love how they’re handling it. They’re here working and they’re not getting caught up in that. I don’t see that being any issue because as long as I’ve been in this organization that’s never been an issue, and I think those players know that.”
What is also known is that if the Cowboys don’t win big in 2019, Garrett is gone. Plane and simple.
Again, Prescott acknowledged that the situation is understood but not talked about.
It’s actually a cue from Garrett, who refuses to discuss his contract situation and uncertain future with the media and admits he doesn’t talk about the business side of the game with his players very much.
He said he is proud of how Prescott, Cooper, and Elliott have approached practice and the workouts in the midst of the contract talks.
“Our biggest focus is on what we need to do to be our best as players and coaches and the rest of that stuff will take care of itself,” Garrett said. “The business of football is just part of it. It’s always been a part of it. The best players I’ve been around, the best teams I’ve been around, they focus on what they need to do each day to become a better player and help us become a better team. Those guys take that same approach. You kind of put that to a side. There’s a time to focus on that and deal with that, but for the most part, they come in and go to work and they’re great examples to the rest of our team.”
To that end, Garrett has been a great example to them as well.