The two cellar-dwellers in the NFC East sit with questions at quarterback.
In Philadelphia, the Eagles just benched $128 million QB Carson Wentz in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. In Dallas, the issues are much different, as Dak Prescott’s injury has led to a turnstile at QB as the star signal-caller heads towards free agency once again.
For some, the Eagles being saddled with Wentz’s contract that will call for a massive cap figure whether he’s on the team or not could inform the Cowboys’ decision on Prescott. Maybe it’s not so smart to sink huge money into one position and be hamstrung for the future, the argument will go.
The Cowboys, for their part, reject the notion that they’ll shy away from paying Prescott.
Dallas EVP Stephen Jones joined 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday and said the Eagles’ problems won’t play into any future decisions with Dak. As sides have always said, the lack of a long-term deal with Prescott and the Cowboys has been agreeing on the number of years.
“Our issues are in our negotiations with Dak have been we’re wanting to be more committed in terms of the term,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “We’re not nervous to sign Dak. I think his makeup is all the right things. He’s an amazing man off the field, he’s a great leader in our locker room, a great player and that’s why we’ve wanted to sign him long term. … When you sign a player long-term you’ve got more flexibility in how you work the salary cap with a player who’s gonna eat up a big percentage of your cap when you’re talking about a quarterback.”
Prescott was playing on a $35 million franchise tag in 2020, which was wiped out after a season-ending ankle injury. The Cowboys will either be forced to use a second tag on the QB or finally reach a long-term deal.
While noting that the Cowboys aren’t worried about getting a deal done, when it comes to big deals like the one the Eagles gave Wentz, Jones said that there is always a risk.
“That’s why we’re trying to negotiate this contract,” Jones said. “It’s certainly not easy. We’re looking at it. We’ve been out front, I think everybody’s aware of the issues here of why the deal hasn’t been done is more length of the term than it has been the actual amount of the contract. Certainly shows you our confidence in Dak because we want him here for the long term. Certainly, when you make a bad decision on a big contract, it can affect you.
“I can’t speak for the Eagles. I don’t know where they are with Carson Wentz and what their long-term thoughts are on Carson. When something’s not working out and you have big numbers on a contract you’re committed to it can certainly affect your football team for a couple of years.
“That’s the business we’re in. That’s why you want to be right when you sign a player. That’s why our philosophy has been, historically, our preference is to, hopefully, draft well, bring good young players in and then you know what you have when you sign them. And, in our opinion, you’re less likely to make big mistakes if you sign your own guys. That’s not a sure thing either with the injuries… There’s a lot of moving parts to getting it right with this salary cap.”
The Cowboys’ disappointing season underscored the plethora of issues the club has to straighten out. Dak masked many issues early, yet Dallas was still 2-3 at the point of his injury. Finally getting a deal done with their starting QB should be the Cowboys’ first goal this offseason before moving on to fixing other problems.