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Dak Prescott Isn’t Getting $40 Million a Year, and He Knows It

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Contract talks between the Dallas Cowboys and the representatives for Dak Prescott must be heating up because over the last week, we've heard some numbers being thrown out in various reports. Last week it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys had offered their franchise quarterback a contract worth $30 million a year. Yesterday it was being reported that Dak Prescott has turned down that $30 million a year offer and is instead asking for $40 million a year.

This per Jane Slater of NFL Network.

Jane Slater on Twitter

I can confirm reports that QB Dak Prescott has, in fact, turned down 30M a year offer and is instead seeking 40M a year per source informed. #Cowboys

Last night, Jori Epstein from USA Today had a report to the contrary. A source contradicted the report that the Dallas Cowboys quarterback asked for $40 million a year.

USA TODAY Sports on Twitter

A source familiar with negotiations told @JoriEpstein that Dak Prescott's representatives are not asking for $40 million a year from the Cowboys. https://t.co/H7Q9967e97

Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, it's negotiation season.

If you've ever had any experience in a negotiation, whether it was for a house, a car, or something much smaller, you've learned that a negotiation is a dance.

Living overseas in a cultural context where everything is negotiable, you learn that items, services, and goods are priced much higher than they're worth and more than the vendor's willing to sell it, for several reasons.

First, if they price a good or service for what it's worth, someone is going to come along and negotiate for a lower price. Because in this context, everything is negotiable. Taxi rates, payment for plumbers and electricians, house rent, and most non-food items. So, if I'm willing to sell something for x amount of dollars, I don't tell customers that I'm willing to sell it for x. I price the item at x+50% so that in the negotiation, there's room for me, the seller, to come down to a price that I'm willing to sell it for, if I have to come down at all.

The second reason you don't set the price of an item at what you're willing to sell it for is that someone may come along and be willing to buy it for what you're selling it for. If I price something at x and someone who may not be as familiar with negotiating or with the prices of goods, like a tourist from the West, they may be likely to pay x. But if that same tourist comes along and the item is priced as x+100%, there's a good chance that they'll pay that price because we generally aren't all that comfortable negotiating. In the U.S. we walk into a store, know what we want, find what we are looking for, read the price tag and then make a determination of whether we want to buy it or not. We don't take the item to the cashier and demand a lower price. It's why companies like CarMax have become so successful. They are profiting from the fact that we in the U.S. generally aren't fond of negotiating for items.

The offers from the Dallas Cowboys and the report that Prescott is after $40 million a year are all a part of that delicate dance of negotiation.


Neither side is going to come to the table with the final number they're willing to pay because if they did, they would lose any leverage in the negotiation. If the Dallas Cowboys came to the negotiation table and said that they'd be willing to pay Prescott $32 million a year, his representatives, as they should, would use that number to get the team to pay more. They could say, "you're willing to do $32 million a year, what's a couple more million?"

Conversely, if Prescott's representatives came to the Dallas Cowboys and said they'd be willing to accept a deal for $32 million a year, Stephen Jones and the front office, would use that number to get Prescott to sign for less. The front office could come to Dak's representatives and say, "you're willing to take $32 million a year, what's a couple million less?"

In Kenya, when you go to the Masai Market, the sellers have a pad of paper. When you ask how much something is, they pull out the pad of paper and they write their first number down and immediately cross it out. Then they ask for your number, they write it down, and then cross it out. They do this because they know that neither he or the buyer is going to accept the first price in the negotiation. This back and forth continues until you can find a number that you are both willing to accept, which is generally somewhere in the middle of the high and low starting points of the negotiation.

All that's happening right now with Dak Prescott's agents and Stephen Jones is that they are working that negotiation.

Dak Prescott, for as smart of a guy as he is, knows that he's not going to get $40 million a year from the Dallas Cowboys. He knows that they wouldn't pay him $5 million a year more than Russell Wilson and $7 million a year more than Aaron Rodgers. But also, because he's a smart guy and has smart representation, then they know that in negotiations you go in asking for the moon while being willing to agree to less.

At the same time, the Dallas Cowboys are smart and they know that with Carson Wentz getting $32 million a year in new money on his recent extension, that they'll be hard-pressed to get Dak Prescott's contract extension to come in under that in new money. The reason they offered $30 million a year is that they're hoping to get Prescott's new extension done for less than $35 million a year and closer to the $32 million a year that Wentz received earlier this offseason.

If the report is accurate that the agents are asking for $10 million more than what the Cowboys offered, then you should know, that's just an agent trying to get as much as he can for his client by keeping their end of the negotiation higher than what Prescott and his representatives are willing to agree to. They know that whatever figure they give the Dallas Cowboys' front office would be a figure that they'd have to come down from in order to find terms that are agreeable to both sides. Just like the Cowboys know they'll have to come up from $30 million a year.

Until a deal is done, we'll continue hearing reports of where the two sides stand in the negotiations. Just know that both the organization and the representatives will continue to employ the media to help pass along their side of the negotiations. The Cowboys will have Dak Prescott locked up at some point, and if the chatter coming through the media covering the Dallas Cowboys is any indication, they'll have an agreement in the next couple of weeks.

Whenever you hear reports or read stories about what each side is proposing for a contract extension, just keep in mind that it's negotiation season.


Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Cowboys K Brett Maher’s 63-Yard Field Goal Sets New NFL Record

Jess Haynie

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Brett Maher

After hitting a 63-yard field goal last night in the Dallas Cowboys' win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Kicker Brett Maher now owns the NFL record for most field goal made at 60 yards or longer. It was the third 60-plus FG of his career and second so far this season.

Maher hit a 62-yarder last week in Dallas' loss to the New York Jets. That kick tied him with Sebastian Janikowski and Greg Zuerlein for having two career field goals of 60 or more.

Now Brett stands alone in that category. Last night's kick also was just one yard shy of Matt Prater's record for the NFL's longest field goal; Maher hit from 64 yards in 2013.

If Brett Maher ever gets a chance to kick in Denver, he may have a great shot at breaking Prater's record as well. According to NBC's data from last night, Maher's kick would have been good from 66 yards out.

It was a good night overall for the Cowboys kicker. Maher had two other makes from 26 and 29 yards.


Despite his heroics at times, Brett Maher has been one of the least accurate kickers in the NFL the last two years. Even after last night Brett is hitting just 71.4% of his field goals so far in 2019; that ties him for 25th in the league.

The most puzzling aspect of all with Maher is how much he struggles with shorter range kicks. You almost have more confidence in him kicking from 60 yards out than attempting an extra point.

Few kickers could survive that kind of performance and uncertainty, but few can do what Maher can with his long range ability. It's a risk/reward situation that the Cowboys are continuing to work with.

For today, at least, Maher and his team are basking in the glory of a great game. Let's hope both can keep up the positive momentum.


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Cowboys Get Good News on Vander Esch, Quinn Injuries After Eagles Game

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch off to a Fast Start 1

The Dallas Cowboys got a big win last night over the Philadelphia Eagles, but there was concern that they also suffered some big injuries. But good news; despite their leaving the game and not returning, both LB Leighton Vander Esch and DE Robert Quinn appear to have avoided any significant issues.

Vander Esch suffered a neck stinger in the second quarter and did not come back. It appears he was held out as a precautionary measure, and the Cowboys' 21-7 lead at that point may have contributed to the decision.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch just told me he's good. First neck stinger. Disputes "history" of neck issues reports. Told me he would have continued playing but "wasn't up to me

Quinn's rib injury also occurred before halftime and ended his night. The veteran picked up his obligatory sack before going out, and it sounds like he should be fine for Dallas' next game.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @GMFB: The #Cowboys got a few injury scares, but LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and LB Robert Quinn (rib) are expected to be OK. https://t.co/ld1mncRkNw

These defensive standouts join a host of Cowboys starters who are going to benefit greatly from the team's bye week.


Dallas went into the game with injury concerns to WRs Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, OTs Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and CBs Byron Jones and Anthony Brown. Of those, Brown was the only one who did not play last night.

Still, all of these players need a week to rest and be ready for the long haul of the regular season.

The Cowboys will get back to work in Week 9 with a road trip to New York, facing the Giants on Monday Night Football.

Thankfully, it looks like Leighton Vander Esch and Robert Quinn will both be ready to play in two weeks.


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Dallas Cowboys Optimistic that Amari Cooper Returns Sunday

John Williams

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Report: Amari Cooper has MRI on Right Ankle

It doesn't take a deep look at the Dallas Cowboys offense over the last year and not see the significant impact that Amari Cooper has had. He's been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL over the last calendar year and has opened up so much for the Cowboys offense both with his impact as a pass catcher and for the attention he draws from opposing defenses. In Cooper's last 15 regular-season games with the Dallas Cowboys, he's caught 86 passes on 121 targets for 1,240, and 11 touchdowns. He's been everything the Cowboys front office could have hoped for when they made the trade with the Oakland Raiders after week seven of the 2018 season.

Amari Cooper has been dealing with foot issues since training camp and then went out on the first offensive series against the New York Jets with a thigh contusion. His absence was definitely felt as the offense struggled to find any rhythm in the first half of their week six loss.

Amari Cooper has Final Say on Trade Compensation in Cowboys Win 3

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

Though he hasn't practiced this week there is some optimism that Cooper could potentially practice on Friday and play in this pivotal week seven matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. A contusion is basically a bone bruise, which is painful and can inhibit movement and flexibility. The most important thing to judge when determining if Cooper will be able to play or not is the level of inflammation that still persists in this leg. If the inflammation is better and he has better movement and flexibility in the leg, then he should be able to go.


Amari Cooper had a field day against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 14 of the 2018 season when he caught 10 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Even in the week 10 contest, Cooper caught six passes for 75 yards. He's had a ton of success against the Eagles and with them still having injury issues in the secondary, there's a possibility for him to have another big game this week if he's able to play.

It's an encouraging sign that he's going to try practice today given the concern during the game in the days just after the week six contest. We'll have to keep an eye on how Friday goes and the pregame reports, but if all goes well, the Cowboys offense will be in much better shape with Cooper back on the field.


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