Cowboys fans give wrong answer in survey about looming contract extension dilemma

There's only one answer about which core player the Cowboys should extend first this offseason.
Oct 30, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and wide receiver
Oct 30, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and wide receiver / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are enjoying summer vacation before they hit the ground running at training camp in preparation of the 2023 season.

Perhaps the single biggest storyline (or question) surrounding the team leading up to camp is whether they'll get any cornerstone players signed to contract extensions before they report back for camp in late-July.

The Cowboys got most of their business done early in free agency. They re-signed defenders Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch and Johnathan Hankins, and ensured at least one more season of Tony Pollard by slapping him with the franchise tag.

Pollard is eligible for an extension until mid-July, when the tag becomes official, but he's likely far down the extension pecking order.

In a nifty idea, The Athletic's Jon Machota surveyed fans on a number of topics for the upcoming season. Perhaps the most compelling question was which player fans would like to see Dallas get a contract done with first.

Not surprisingly, CeeDee Lamb received the greatest share of the vote (50.3 percent), beating out Trevon Diggs (20.2 percent), Dak Prescott (19.5 percent), Terence Steele (6.0 percent) and Pollard (4.0 percent), respectively.

Cowboys fans want CeeDee Lamb to sign contract extension first

There shouldn't be a Cowboys fan out there that doesn't want Lamb to ink a long-term contract extension. Lamb made a huge leap in 2022 and is now considered a top-10 receiver after he finished top five at the position in catches and receiving yards, and top six in touchdown catches.

The same goes for Trevon Diggs, who's entering the final year of his rookie contract as a former second round pick. Everyone wants Diggs in Dallas long term -- the organization itself has admitted as much -- but getting Prescott signed should be the front office's top priority over the next month-plus.

Machota made this argument in a recent article. In order, he believes the Cowboys should sign Prescott, Lamb, Diggs, Steele, Pollard and eventually Micah Parsons, who's a lock to become the NFL's highest-paid defender.

That's the correct order; not Lamb first and Diggs second.

After multiple restructures since he signed his four-year, $160 million extension two years ago, Prescott will count $59.5 million against the cap this year.

While Dallas is in a great spot financially, lowering that number (which would happen with a new extension), would open more avenues to upgrade the roster and give the team more flexibility in extension talks with Lambs, Diggs and others.

The Cowboys knew that restructuring Prescott's deal would inflate his cap hit. The easiest way to counter that is to give him a new deal, and though many fans and analysts question whether he can lead Dallas to the mountaintop, he's one of the 7-10 best quarterbacks in the league and it's nearly impossible to envision them finding an upgrade in the event they let his contract run its course.

There's also the QB market to consider. Jalen Hurts set the market this offseason at $51 million annually and $110 million guaranteed, and Lamar Jackson followed by inking $52 million per year and $135 million guaranteed.

Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are next up and will likely sign sooner than later, followed by Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa.

It should also be noted that Daniel Jones got $40 million per year -- the same Prescott currently makes annually -- and $81 million guaranteed.

Make no mistake: extending Prescott should be the Cowboys first order of business, followed by Lamb and Diggs.

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