Heading into the final week of the NFL regular season, the Dallas Cowboys had miraculously put themselves in a position to advance to the NFL Playoffs. But, by virtue of their 23-19 loss at the New York Giants, that pursuit is over.
Time to begin the next pursuit: Contract negotiations with Dak Prescott.
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By rule, a team with a franchise-tag player cannot negotiate during the season. But now, Dallas' NFL season is over.
And therefore? Owner Jerry Jones' long-standing "Deadlines Make Deals'' mindset aside, there is every reason to begin conversation ... now.
Meanwhile, on Monday, COO Stephen Jones was asked about Dallas' offseason to-do list, and where the Dak deal is on that list.
"(It's) certainly at the top,'' Stephen said in a visit on 105.3 The Fan.
Prescott’s relative lack of playoff success, combined with the Cowboys’ potential to advance to the playoffs with backup Dalton had some wondering whether the Cowboys really should invest $40 million per year in their quarterback ... or if there is a more affordable way to find someone to quarterback "America’s Team.''
Hey, if a backup quarterback making $3 million (Dalton's base) is leading the Cowboys to the NFL Playoffs, why should the Cowboys offer Prescott, say $200 million? Even the most staunch Dak supporter might have to admit: It's not a ridiculous question. It's a thought worth brainstorming, here, and more importantly, inside The Star.
The Jones family - even before this loss - has done that brainstorming. Jerry and Stephen have their answer.
"Dak is our quarterback,'' Jerry Jones recently repeated.
Added Stephen: "He's our future. His makeup is all the right things. He’s a great leader. He’s a great player. ... We're not nervous to sign Dak.''
So there is no change in Dallas' plans with franchise-tagged Dak negotiations ... except that due to Sunday's loss, they can start earlier than all parties would have wished.