DALLAS - The iconic Troy Aikman remains tied to the Dallas Cowboys, "loves'' the talent of the latest heir to his QB throne in Dak Prescott, and in an exclusive interview with us on Monday expressed some befuddlement at any contractual controversy between the two.
I love Dak Prescott,'' Aikman told me. "I love everything about him. ... I’m not saying anything the Cowboys don’t already know. They will pay him, he’s going to make a lot of money, and I think he’s going to be the quarterback for the Cowboys for a long long time, and continue to have a great career.''
Prescott is of course involved in contract negotiations with Dallas that, when he eventually signs his franchise-tag tender, will pay him $31.409 million guaranteed, or will work out a long-term deal that presently has the Cowboys offering a five-year deal worth about $35 million APY.
"I've been surprised that there has been so much discussion about his contract,'' Aikman told me. "It's not like he's not going to be playing for the Cowboys in 2020. Whether he is franchised or he has a deal, he's going to be here playing and eventually a deal gets done. So it's not high on my list of things I look at the league and what’s happening with the other 31 teams.''
Aikman's role now, after a Hall-of-Fame career in Dallas as a three-time Super Bowl winner, is with FOX Sports, observing all 32 teams as the lead TV analyst. But again, his ties with Dallas remain in place - as does his trust in Prescott carrying on a legacy featuring the likes of Roger Staubach and Aikman himself.
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"I've maintained that I strongly believe that they'll reach a deal, and he’ll have a long-term contract as opposed to playing under the franchise tag this year,'' said Aikman, who then told the story of a recent Southern California visit with Cowboys team leader Sean Lee.
"What (you are) talking about with regard to me, I feel the same way about Dak,'' Aikman said, reflecting on my view of his greatness being the result of his sacrifices. "I think he's a very unselfish player. I wouldn’t say that about everybody; he only wants to win.
"I saw (linebacker) Lee out here the other day in Santa Barbara (Calif.), and we got to talking about Dak, and I said, 'Is there something I’m missing about this guy? Because I love him?''
"And Sean said he a huge fan as well, and that everybody in that (Cowboys) locker room is.''
Said Aikman: 'Dak truly doesn’t care about his stats. He just wants to win, he’s a leader, his teammates love him. ... So, I would pay him. He's going to get paid.''