Troubling CeeDee Lamb contract update proves Jerry Jones has learned nothing

Michael Rubin's 2024 Fanatics Super Bowl Party
Michael Rubin's 2024 Fanatics Super Bowl Party / Rich Polk/GettyImages

It's bad enough the Dallas Cowboys can't exorcise their playoff demons, but the fact they embarrass themselves more than any NFL team during the offseason is why they're a laughingstock. The common denominator, of course, is team owner and de facto general manager Jerry Jones.

A competent owner would have already signed Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb to contract extensions. However, Jerry and Stephen Jones are too hung up on "winning" a negotiation that they don't see the value in getting an agreement done ahead of time.

It's equivalent to waiting until the assignment is due. By doing that, the Cowboys are backed into a corner and forced to pay the maximum to keep their stars. They're so resided to Lamb becoming the highest-paid receiver in NFL history that they seemingly don't want to reset the market themselves.

Sitting out of the offseason program likely until he gets a new deal, Cowboys fans shouldn't expect to see Lamb for a long time. On Monday, ESPN insider Adam Schefter gave a bleak update on Lamb's contract situation.

Cowboys and CeeDee Lamb aren't close to agreeing to contract extension

"The Dallas Cowboys may not see CeeDee Lamb again until he gets his [contract extension]. And again this is something the Cowboys have been prepared for, planned for, they know they have to pay him, they want to pay him. But the two sides right now are not close to getting a long-term deal done and while they're not CeeDee Lamb will stay away."

Adam Schefter

Superstars stage contract holdouts every offseason, but this is yet another example that proves Jones is still suck in his ways. It's no secret the Joneses negotiate with an iron fist. Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill is the highest-paid WR with an annual salary of $30 million. Assuming Lamb's baseline is just north of $30 million, it's fair to assume Dallas didn't start the bidding there.

Again, though, Lamb's contract should've been done last offseason. It obviously takes two to tango and Lamb knows he would have made more by waiting until this year to sign. However, Eagles star DeVonta Smith just agreed to a three-year, $75 million extension a year before his fifth-year option kicks in.

Who's to say Lamb wouldn't have agreed to a deal if the Cowboys offered him $29 million per year and $74 million guaranteed? Those terms would pencil Lamb as the second-highest paid receiver both in terms of AAV and guarantees. By waiting until the deadline, though, Lamb will likely go for $31-34 million per year and potentially up to $80 million in guaranteed money.

At the end of the day, the Joneses are further emptying their pockets by sticking to their negotiation tactics. Paying the absolute maximum to keep Lamb will give them an excuse why they aren't aggressive in free agency. It's a never-ending cycle.

More Cowboys news and analysis