Dak Prescott takes bold step in standoff with Jerry Jones on his Cowboys future

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The NFL Draft is this week and yet the biggest storyline engulfing the Dallas Cowboys is the future of quarterback Dak Prescott. It was initially believed that Prescott would sign an extension before the new league year in mid-March, but that optimism has fallen by the wayside.

So much so that Prescott and the Cowboys haven't even had extensive talks. We've heard from esteemed insiders that Dallas is charting a path for Prescott to hit free agency in 2025, but local reporters have rebuffed that, claiming that the team intends to work out a deal with the three-time Pro Bowler.

Knowing the Cowboys' negotiating history, late July or thereabouts has long felt like an accurate timetable for an agreement. Prescott has preached composure and confidence whenever asked about his future in Dallas, but his tone took a drastic turn during the Children's Cancer Fund Gala.

Cowboys' Dak Prescott cranks up pressure on Jerry Jones amid contract negotiations

"I'm not going to say I fear being here or not. I don't fear either situation, to be candid with you. I love this game and love to play and love to better myself as a player and my teammates around me. Right now it's with the Dallas Cowboys, it's where I want to be, and that's where I am, and that's the focus. And after the season we'll see where we're at and if the future holds that. And if not, we'll go from there."

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

This is not the buttoned-up Prescott we're used to hearing. It seems the 31-year-old is done playing nice. It's refreshing to see Prescott put the ball in Jerry Jones' court. Prescott knows he's going to get paid regardless of whether it's with the Cowboys. If anything, he'd make more if he reaches free agency than if he re-ups with Dallas given there would be a bidding war for his signature.

Beyond that, Prescott holds all the leverage. Not only does he have a $55 million cap hit next season, but he'd cost the Cowboys $40 million in dead money if he doesn't have a new deal by next March. We could be talking about Dak walking for nothing and leaving behind a crippling dead cap hit. There's less than zero wiggle room for Dallas' front office.

Prescott may not "fear" being a Cowboy or otherwise, but many fans fear for Dallas' future without him. That's why this contract standoff is so maddening. He's clearly a top-10 quarterback in the league and has carried Dallas for large stretches during his career. The team could go as long as five years (if not longer) to find a QB as good as Prescott if they move on.

Having played nice through the media his entire career up until this point, the All-Pro quarterback has finally returned serve.

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