Dallas Cowboys: The real reason deadlines don’t make deals

Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys always say that deadlines make deals, but why hasn’t their biggest deals happened? This might be the reason why.

Over the past three years the Dallas Cowboys have been pushing their luck when dealing with big name free agents before and during free agency. Thinking that they are going to be able to get players to take more team friendly deals, deals like you’ve seen continually come from the New England Patriots and their players. But that luck seems to have run out with them unable to sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a long term deal.

The Cowboys placed the exclusive franchise tag on Prescott. But if deadlines make deals why weren’t the owner Jerry Jones and vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones able to get this particular deal done? Well, the answer might be found in the last two times they used the franchise tag and their negotiations with running back Ezekiel Elliott and guard Zack Martin.

The simple answer is the Joneses have continued to blink when facing deadlines with players. Agents have surely noticed this and are probably playing hardball with the Cowboys when negotiating new contracts as they know Jerry Jones really covets their client.

Every time the elder Jones gets a chance to speak with the media he seemingly digs deeper and deeper holes that his son, Stephen, has to try and fill as agents are likely using his own father’s words against him in negotiations. Prime examples again would be the last two players the tag was used on, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (twice), wide receiver Dez Bryant. (as well as Elliott and Martin).

Lawrence was more than happy to take the first tag. But during the second one, Jerry’s positive comments about the pass rusher, calling him a war daddy, likely gave him enough leverage to threaten a hold out and hold off shoulder surgery until he got the deal he wanted. Same goes for Bryant who threatened to miss training camp and potentially regular season games until he got paid.

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The Dallas Cowboys front office often times finds themselves liking fools for letting their contract negotiations go so poorly. That’s certainly the case when it comes to Dak Prescott, as his price tag seems to be getting larger and larger as time continues to pass. So if you’re looking for a reason why deadlines aren’t making deals in Big D, it starts at the top.