FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys continue to negotiate the Dak Prescott in the media - and making it all sound like peaches and cream inside The Star in Frisco.
“We want to get this done,” COO Stephen Jones said, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Things are fixin' to heat up. We want to put every foot forward and try to grind this out and get a deal done.”
The desire to re-sign the quarterback to a contract almost certain to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history is a long-standing one. So is the series of niceties issued by Jerry and Stephen Jones about the player and their respect for him.
"He deserves everything that he has coming,'' Stephen Jones recently said of Dak. "We got real, real, real close there to start the season.''
If there has been one monkey wrench in the public proceedings, it's been only Dak's Super Bowl Week reaction to the notion that the Cowboys could end up using a franchise tag on him. He hinted that such an action could result in him staying away from the team during the offseason.
Dak probably needs a deeper understanding of what the March 10 franchise tag means; it's not a penalty, but rather, a way to retain contractual control of a player and not losing him while negotiations carry on. Not until mid-July - should no new contract be forged - does it become that player's contract for 2020.
Is Dallas saying something privately in the Dak negotiations that the 26-year-old QB should take as a slap? There is no indication of that, either, the Cowboys fully considering his 2019 campaign - in which he threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions - as a stepping stone toward Super Bowl contention. In August they make him an offer that would've paid him like a "top-five QB.'' In September the two sides nearly closed on a deal that would've paid Prescott in the range of $35 million APY.
So "Dak vs. Dallas'' wasn't, and in public isn't, "heated.'' But Dak talking with the Cowboys? That's about to "heat up.''