Over much of the last 30 years, the Dallas Cowboys front office had played fast and loose with their money, often handing out contracts to players that probably shouldn't have received the second contracts or free-agent deals that they received. Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager was often viewed as one of the more undisciplined spenders in the NFL as the team attempted to recapture its early 90's glory.
But recently, the Dallas Cowboys front office has taken a more disciplined approach when it comes to free agency and even paying their own players. After the Brandon Carr and Tyrone Crawford contracts didn't exactly yield the results they were looking for, the Cowboys took on a philosophy of not chasing big-money free agents during the offseason. When it comes to their own players, Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office has become more shrewd. See Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley.
A team that was constantly characterized as being in “cap-hell” has now found themselves in cap heaven. While much of that can be attributed to Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones has evolved as well.
When the Cowboys released Dez Bryant in the 2018 offseason, it was a sign that Jones, who had been extremely loyal toward players that had been long-time Dallas Cowboys, was willing to make difficult or shrewd contract decisions. Though Stephen Jones may be taking the lead on establishing a philosophy for disciplined salary cap and contract management, nothing happens still without the Owner's blessing.
The negotiations the front office is involved in for their offensive stars has taken a rather public note with the Dallas Cowboys opening training camp. Though at their opening press conference at the start of camp Jerry Jones said they wouldn't be talking about contracts every day, it sure seems they've begun to talk about contracts every day.
Stephen Jones has made it known publicly that the Cowboys aren't going to be setting the market with respect to the deals that need to get done with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Ezekiel Elliott. Yesterday, Jerry Jones stuck with the front office's message that these contracts aren't only about these players, echoing Stephen Jones' previous statements.
Jerry Jones: "Certainly individually they want to be recognized when it comes to the money, but on the other hand, it's got to fit our plan, or it doesn't work with our house and our house falls." https://t.co/xqyxIyW6Wx
They've got a plan in place to get the newest version of “The Triplets” under contract, but also have an eye to the future as they attempt to work in Byron Jones, Jaylon Smith, and possibly La'el Collins. Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones want to make it all work in such a way that it doesn't force them to restructure some of their long-term contracts.
There's a way to make it all work, as Jess Haynie wrote yesterday, but the Dallas Cowboys are attempting to get the best possible deals they can get with their offensive stars.
Any person in any negotiable business transaction is going to seek to get the best deal that they can get in that transaction. Whether you're negotiating the price of a house or a car, both sides of the sale are trying to get the best deal for their side as possible. It's the reason Ezekiel Elliott is holding out and it's the reason Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper haven't signed their contracts yet. It's also the reason why you see the front office playing out these negotiations in public and aren't moving off of their proposals.
At some point, the two sides of these negotiations will come to an agreement that they're all happy with. Though there's a lot of uncertainty with Ezekiel Elliott's contract because of a report that the team and Elliott remain far apart on an agreement, questions continue to arise. Yesterday, Jerry Jones was asked if he was worried about the prospect of getting Elliott's contract finalized.
Here's what Jerry had to say:
Jerry Jones was asked if he’s worried about Ezekiel Elliott’s contract not getting done.
Jones: “I don’t consider it. No. When have I ever not done one? So I don’t worry about that.”
The man who made his fortune wildcatting the oil fields of Oklahoma and made the deal to purchase the Dallas Cowboys, Jones always finds a way to get a deal done when they need to get a deal done. DeMarcus Lawrence and Dez Bryant are evidence that when it comes down to it, the Dallas Cowboys always get their man.
This summer I have the feeling, that three of those men are about to get paid.