Cowboys' contract talks with Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb take concerning twist

This isn't the update Cowboys fans were hoping for.
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys still haven't showed any urgency to sign Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb to contract extensions. While the Cowboys seemingly have no plans to lose Prescott and Lamb, they've backed themselves into a corner by waiting until the final year of their existing deals to negotiate.

As a result, both the quarterback and wide receiver markets have exploded. After the recent deals signed by Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence and Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, Prescott and Lamb have full justification to set their respective baselines at $55 million and $30 million per year.

The Cowboys are no stranger to taking their time with Prescott. That has led many to believe that Lamb will sign first. Given the position he plays and the sheer leverage he has over the front office, Prescott will also be a bigger commitment financially.

Why not get Lamb out of the way and then shift attention to Prescott, right? That's been the expectation all along, but ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler has revealed a surprising twist to the saga: the Cowboys want to get Prescott's deal done before Lamb's.

Cowboys rumors: Dallas wants to sign Dak Prescott before CeeDee Lamb

"You've got Dak Prescott. The Cowboys have a world of problems here financially with three players they have to sign—Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb as well—but the feeling around the league and sources I've talked to is that they want to start with Dak," Fowler said on SportsCenter. "They've put it on the table with Dak's people that 'Hey look, you're a priority. We want to try to get something done.' As far as hard dollars, not a lot of progress yet. I would describe their efforts so far as passive."

That's not the update Cowboys fans were hoping for. After all, Justin Jefferson's record-setting extension cleared a pathway for Dallas to sign Lamb. The All-Pro was reportedly waiting for Jefferson's deal to get done in his contract talks. It was also reported that negotiations between Lamb and the Cowboys were expected to "heat up" following the Jefferson bombshell.

As always, it's the team's own fault that it has to prioritize Prescott over Lamb. While Lamb is a top-five player at his position, he's less of a long-term concern. Meanwhile, Prescott has no-trade and no-tag clauses to use as leverage. He can dictate the process by entering free agency next March if Dallas doesn't make him a suitable offer.

Lamb could always hold out into the regular season without a new deal to establish leverage, but the Cowboys could simply franchise-tag him in 2025 to prevent him from reaching free agency. They don't have that safety valve with Prescott, which could explain why they've shifted their approach.

The fact Prescott and the Cowboys reportedly aren't close in talks means there's no timeline for Lamb's extension. There's still five weeks until the team leaves for training camp but the odds of Lamb being in Oxnard on July 22 have skyrocketed in light of this news.

The latest Cowboys news