If you crave an end to the interminable negotiations between the Cowboys and Dak Prescott, if life without sports has sapped your enthusiasm, there may be a solution.
Combine the two. Sure, the parties will be accused of doing a bit. But it worked for Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and a couple of quarterbacks named Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Stage a competition between Prescott and Jerry Jones on the family yacht. Dive into the gorgeous waters of the Mediterranean from the highest point of the Bravo Eugenia. Shoot skeet. Play shuffleboard on the deck. Televise it.
The first man to win two events determines the terms of the contract. The final scene is Prescott being whisked away in the Jones copter to return to shore as the sun sets.
Absurd? No more than some of the assertions advanced and figures floated in recent weeks.
Since precious little has been written or talked about regarding Prescotts negotiations over the last 11 to 12 months sentence designed to test ability to recognize sarcasm lets tackle some of the issues and put this into context as the two sides attempt to reach a long-term deal before July 15.
Heres a synopsis of where negotiations stand at the moment, according to sources.
The Cowboys are offering a five-year deal.
Todd France, who represents Prescott, wants four.
The club has not put an offer on the table that equals or surpasses the average of Russell Wilson. The average falls short of the Seattle quarterbacks $35 million but ahead of the $34 million average of Pittsburghs Ben Roethlisberger.
The Cowboys nudged their guarantee above the $107.9 million of Philadelphias Carson Wentz earlier this year. When the two sides spoke again in April a conversation described by a source at the time as very positive it appears the club increased the guarantee above the $110 million Jared Goff received from the LA Rams.
The bottom line: the Cowboys current offer gives Prescott the leagues top guarantee and the second-highest average. But remember, thats over five years. Wilson, Goff and Wentz signed four-year extensions.
Now, lets chart the progression.
July 2019: The Cowboys presented Prescott with a proposal that averaged $30 million and a guarantee of $90 million entering training camp, putting him among the top five players at the position at that time.
September 2019: In an effort to strike a deal before the regular season began, the club upped that offer to an average of $33 million with a guarantee of close to $105 million.
February or March 2020: The team offered a deal that bumped the average above $34 million with a guarantee of above that of Wentz.
April 2020: The current deal averages roughly $34.5 million with a guarantee slightly above $110 million for five years.
A narrative has surfaced that since Prescott doesnt have a long-term deal, the Cowboys must have doubts about him being their franchise quarterback.
That doesnt add up.
You can question how the Cowboys have gone about the negotiations. But you cant follow the timeline and magnitude of whats been offered and legitimately argue the club is reluctant to tie its future to Prescott.
This is an honest dispute over worth. Those who declare the club should go ahead and pay Prescott are really saying pay Prescott whatever he wants.
Since the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on an extension, since Prescott reached free agency, this is a much more complicated deal to finalize than the ones signed by Goff and Wentz.
The Cowboys used the exclusive franchise tag of $31.4 million to prevent Prescott from reaching free agency. Lets say the quarterback doesnt accept the Cowboys offer, signs the tag on or before July 15 and plays the season at that number.
At that stage, you have to look at the very real possibility that he plays on back-to-back tags the way Kirk Cousins did in Washington before hitting the open market. In that scenario, Prescott would average roughly $34.7 million over the next two years.
Why would he consider a deal at that average now that would bind him to the club for five years? And thats before Kansas City raises the ceiling significantly in terms of average salary and guarantee with Patrick Mahomes.
The Cowboys arent being cheap. France and Prescott arent being unreasonable.
This is just hard.
Jerry has always told me, as a mentor of mine, as the money gets bigger, the deals get harder, Stephen Jones told The Dallas Morning News earlier this month. Obviously, when were talking about Dak, its as big as it gets in the NFL.
So, its got to be right for Dak, and its got to be right for us.
Next question: How high is the dive from the top platform of the Bravo Eugenia, and can Jerry Jones execute a back dive with two full somersaults?
Staff writer Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.
Catch David Moore on The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM) periodically throughout the offseason to discuss the latest Cowboys news.
Find more Cowboys stories from The Dallas Morning News here.
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