As the start of the regular season nears, Cowboys fans are getting antsier by the day about the Triplets’ outstanding contract extensions.
“Picture if you were the driver of a car, and you had a wreck and your hand was almost severed off, but you didn’t understand your anatomy. You look down, you’re spurting blood, you open the door and run to the woods and either die of bleeding to death or shock. The educated man looks down, knows his anatomy, squeezes and knows his best chance is to wait for help. That’s because he’s been there a lot and done that. And so I’m squeezing and waiting for help. That’s my lesson for today.”
What Jones is trying to say here, if you can parse sense from Jones’ slasher horror of an exemplum, is that it’s best for all parties to stay calm and level-headed during Dallas’ concurrent negotiations with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. Be the educated man with the severed hand, or something like that.
To refresh: All three offensive stars are in negotiations with the Cowboys for new deals. Prescott and Cooper, whose contracts are up after 2019, are in camp; Elliott, whose deal isn’t done until after 2020, is holding out in Cabo San Lucas.
Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have taken turns daily in front of and behind the media trying to sway the conversation. For example, on Monday, NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Prescott turned down a $30 million per year deal and is instead seeking a $40 million per year extension. Jerry Jones had little to offer Tuesday night on the reported step in the negotiation.
“You don’t have any way of knowing where you are financially until a financial deal is done,” he said. “And so you have no idea. It takes two, and both of us haven’t said yes at the same time.”
Further brewing speculation around Cowboys camp, Jones suggested that Dallas was actually closer to striking a extension with a player the press has not been discussing.
“Would it be better if we can get one of the players done (before the season) than to not have any done of the ones you’re talking about? The answer is yes,” Jones said. “What may surprise you is we may come up with one that you haven’t been asking about.”
The Cowboys are also looking to extend eventually cornerback Byron Jones, linebacker Jaylon Smith, tackle La’el Collins and defensive tackle Maliek Collins, all of whose contracts expire following the 2019 season, same as Cooper and Prescott.
Paying that many stars in one calendar year could bleed the Cowboys dry. But they’re willing to apply a tourniquet and wait for help to arrive. What that aid will be (a player caving on guarantees?) or when it will come (before Week 1?), Jones has yet to so colorfully illustrate.