FRISCO - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday addressed for the first time the failed contract negotiations with Dak Prescott - and the franchise's long-term commitment to the quarterback.
"We think he's outstanding,'' Jerry Jones said, calling the 27-year-old one of the finest young men he knows. "We think he's our quarterback of the future."
Added COO Stephen Jones: "The virus .. which affects revenue, which affects the cap, that was a challenge. .. (And) the term of the deal was a big part of this.
"But it doesn't change what we think of Dak. .. I'm more convinced than ever we'll get it done.'
These remarks, part of the Cowboys official "opening of training camp'' complete with the traditional "State of the Union'' address (virtually, this time) with - are meant to calm those in Cowboys Nation who are concerned about any lingering unhappiness on the part of Prescott ... or for that matter, on the part of the organization.
Prescott seems at peace with himself, even with the personal strife (the well-documented 2013 death of his mother, and this offseason, the passing of brother Jace) and the professional strife (his $31.409 million one-year franchise tag contract for 2020 is a "controversial'' one).
What didn't happen, of course, is even more peace: A long-term contract (like the one Dallas offered, a five-year deal worth about $35 million per) that would've allowed both parties to avoid this same franchise-tag dance a year from now.
Nevertheless, Stephen said, "He's fired up about this team, this season and the future.''
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Jerry's Ben Franklin-inspired point: The Dak goods far outweigh the Dak bads.
Prescott himself told our pal Jane Slater that he's "grateful and blessed'' to be a Cowboy. And new coach Mike McCarthy's position is that Dak is "upbeat and driven.''
But our respected 105.3 The Fan colleague Bryan Broaddus reports that according to a former Dallas coach, Prescott is at this moment not especially in love with being aligned with the Cowboys.
"'At this point, no, I don't think so," Broaddus said, quoting the coach on the subject of, "Does he want to be here?'' "'However, he won't say it or show it. The kid is a stud and is mentally strong.'"
Indeed, Prescott - unquestionably a leader by nature and a leader of this organization - used Twitter as his playground to exchange opinions with pal and teammate Ezekiel Elliott, ultimately issuing a powerful and positive proclamation on the COVID-19-impacted sputtering start of this oddest of training camps:
So, which angle is true? Is Dak happy or sad? Grieving or celebrating? Disappointed or excited? The Joneses acknowledges the strife. But ...
"We ultimately know,'' Stephen said, "that we're going to have to figure out how to get this done."