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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’ Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

John Williams

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Cowboys' Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

With only two preseason games remaining, opportunities to make a statement are growing thin. The Dallas Cowboys have very few spots on the roster available, especially at the tight end position where Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz appear to have the depth chart locked down. The problem is, Jarwin and Schultz have been dealing with injuries and missed the second preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and probably won't play against the Houston Texans tonight.

Enter Marcus Lucas.

Marcus Lucas hasn't been a member of the Dallas Cowboys for very long, but he's already made an impact.

In his first preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys, Lucas caught four passes on four targets for 20 yards. His receptions went for two, seven, five, and six yards for an average of five yards per reception. He did have a holding penalty that cost the Dallas Cowboys 10 yards on a first down play that didn't go anywhere anyway.

Though Lucas has bounced around NFL practice squads, he's never really found a home. After going undrafted in 2014, Lucas was signed by the Carolina Panthers in May of that year but wasn't able to stick on the 53-man roster and was released and placed on the practice squad. In 2015, he was on the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears practice squads. In 2016, the Panthers brought him back in the summer after the Bears released him from their 90-man roster. That September after cut-down day, the Seattle Seahawks signed Lucas to their practice squad where he spent all of 2016. From 2017 to the end of 2018, Lucas spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, the Seattle Seahawks again, and the San Francisco 49ers. He was with the 49ers in 2019 before joining the Dallas Cowboys about two weeks ago and will get an extended run in these final two preseason games.


At Thursday's practice, Lucas was the only tight end available with Jason Witten getting a rest day and Jarwin, Schultz, and fellow Tight End Cody McElroy dealing with injuries.

Todd Archer on Twitter

With Jason Witten getting a day of rest, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Codey McElroy injured, the Cowboys have one tight end practicing today: Marcus Lucas, who has been with the team for about two weeks.

It's possible that Lucas may get an extended amount of playing time tonight with an opportunity to show the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL that he's ready to land on a 53-man roster. With likely only Jason Witten being the only other tight end active for the game against the Houston Texans, Lucas will get a lot of playing time. If his last preseason exposure is any indication, he'll get the chance to display his receiving prowess.

At 27, Lucas likely has few opportunities left to make his mark for an NFL franchise. On a team that proclaims the "next man up" as a battle cry, after Witten, Lucas is the next man up for tonight and depending on his performance could make the Dallas Cowboys front office or another front office around the league take notice.

Depending on the long-term health of the Dallas Cowboys' tight end position, Lucas may find his path to a roster spot simply dependent upon the health of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. Though a job may not come with the Dallas Cowboys, tonight is an extremely important audition for his next suitor. How he performs tonight could land Marcus Lucas a job after the Dallas Cowboys trim the roster to 53 next week.

They say "preseason games don't matter," but to Marcus Lucas, this might be the most important game of his career.


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REPORT: Signs Point to Elliott, Cowboys Finalizing Contract Extension

Jess Haynie

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Will No Preseason Work Hurt Ezekiel Elliott's Early Season Production?

Our long Cowboys National nightmare may close to ending. According to Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan, there's news coming in that points to Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys soon reaching an agreement and ending Zeke's holdout.

The following was just tweeted this morning from Turner's account:

Kevin Turner on Twitter

BREAKING: Hello, talented media personality KT here, same source tells me Zeke is booked to return from Cabo tomorrow. Another source tells @Shippyfunsports the Cowboys and Zeke were in contact late last night, and that a deal could come together over the weekend. @1053thefan https://t.co/hdiGHoaiVb

We had just heard yesterday that Dallas offered Zeke a deal that would make him the second-highest paid RB in football behind Todd Gurley. Was that enough to get Elliott to sign, or perhaps the basis that Zeke's team used to make a final counteroffer which Dallas agreed to?


Hopefully we'll find out all those details very soon. For now, we can just take hope in these signs of light at the end of this contract dispute tunnel.

The Cowboys aren't the same team without Ezekiel Elliott. With so much at stake in this 2019 season, it's time to get this deal done and get ready to win.


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Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL’s Second Highest-Paid RB

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL's Second Highest-Paid RB

Negotiations are picking up in Dallas. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Dallas Cowboys have offered All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott a new contract that would make him the second-highest-paid running back in the NFL.


Ed Werder on Twitter

Sources: The most recent offer in negotiations between holdout Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys came from the team. Elliott has been offered a contract making him one of the NFL's 2 highest-paid RB. That would suggest team offering more than LeVeon Bell and less than Todd Gurley.

This would put Elliott just below Todd Gurley's four-year 60 million dollar deal and just ahead of Le'Veon Bell's four-year 52.5 million dollar deal. He's currently set to make 3.9 million in 2019 under his current contract. Deadlines make deals and it appears the Cowboys understand this. More to come.


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