Dak Prescott is an optimist. At least that is what his agents are coaching him to be. But is his optimism practical?
James Thaler, a Nobel Prize-winning economics professor from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, detailed the secret to success in the salary cap era – play better than the value of the contract.
This is why I feel Dak Prescott at a cap hit above 10% of the salary cap is a bad investment and at a cap hit under 10% of the salary cap is a great investment.
Prescott told USA Today’s Jori Epstein last week that there is enough room for every deserving Cowboy to be paid their worth. He wants to see running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper paid as the highest at their position.
"“For somebody to say you can only take so much because of the salary cap or you can only do this or that, I don’t know how fair that is to say. Because with gambling, with everything going into this league, everything is going to continue to keep going up.”"
At the end of the 2019 season, Prescott, Cooper, corner back Byron Jones and offensive tackle La’el Collins will be unrestricted free agents. Linebacker Jaylon Smith will be a restricted free agent and Elliott will be playing on his fifth-year option.
Let’s assume that each of these players signs a fair market deal. For simplification, the cap hit for their contract will be equal for each year of the deal. Here are estimations for fair market deals:
- Dak Prescott – $34 million average per year (APY)
- Amari Cooper – $18 million APY
- Byron Jones – $15 million APY
- Jaylon Smith – $15 million APY
- La’el Collins – $12 million APY
- Ezekiel Elliott – $12 million APY
The Cowboys currently have 55 players under contract for 2020 at a combined cap hit of $127.6 million according to spotrac.com. Let’s assume that defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford and his $9 million cap hit will be a cap casualty. Adding the recently signed fair market deals brings the total cap hit to $212 million.