Cowboys Pro Bowler makes pointed change ahead of key contract negotiations

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest storylines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys right now are the impending contract extensions the team still hasn't committed to signing. Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons are all due for new contracts which will likely make them the highest-paid trio in the entire NFL.

It does not stop there, though. The NFL is a never-ending machine and the Cowboys are going to be on the clock for more extensions after getting these deals done. NFL teams can sign players to rookie extensions after their third season in the league and there are some prominent names who will be due for a new contract after the 2024 season.

Dallas is going to have some tough decisions to make after the 2024 season with three Pro Bowlers coming from the 2022 draft class. Tyler Smith, Jake Ferguson and DaRon Bland will all want to be taken care of after the 2024 season as that is what they have earned.

One of those players is already trying to maximize his earnings before contract extension talks can even begin. After a fantastic sophomore season with the Cowboys, Ferguson has signed with ESM to handle his marketing.

Jake Ferguson is looking to cash in before contract extension talks with Cowboys

Ferguson's agents are naturally going to open the door for extension conversations as soon as the Cowboys play their final snap of the 2024 season whether that be in the Super Bowl or in Week 18. Ferguson signing with ESM shouldn't change any of that.

ESM is not going to handle Ferguson's contract negotiations with Dallas but instead will handle any marketing opportunities outside of football. The likes of Mac Jones, Javonte Williams and Ladd McConkey are all represented by ESM for the same reason.

This is simply an example of a player wanting to cash-in on the value that comes with being a Pro Bowler. While it may not have a direct impact on contract negotiations, it could give fans an idea of where Ferguson's head is at.

Ferguson wants to maximize his earnings, which is absolutely his right. As great as it would be to have every player take a hometown discount, the number of years that an NFL player can get paid is small. They have to make as much money as they can while they can.

That is obviously what Ferguson wants to accomplish, which may murk the waters when it is time to talk out a new deal. Ferguson has every right to push for top-end market value with Dallas and that probably is what he is going to do.

Unfortunately, with so many other extensions that need to be signed, the odds of Dallas being able to pay a tight end a premium salary is slim. Ferguson and his agent can forecast this, which might be why they are trying to maximize as much as they can while he is still in Dallas.

This is not an immediate issue or one that will impact Ferguson's play. He still has two more years on his rookie deal and the hope is that Dallas will get two more years of Pro Bowl-caliber play out of him.

But once the 2025 season is up, Ferguson may simply sign with the highest bidder versus giving the Cowboys any type of discount to stay in Dallas.