FRISCO, Texas — As far as Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones is concerned, Dak Prescott‘s season-ending right ankle injury does nothing to change the organization’s thinking about the quarterback.
“Absolutely not,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “He’s our future. He’s special. If anyone can overcome anything, it would be Dak. This is something that our doctors feel good that he’ll overcome and come back better than ever.”
Prescott is set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season after playing on the $31.4 million franchise tag in 2020. The Cowboys can use the tag on him again next March, which would cost $37.7 million, or allow him to test the free-agent market.
The Cowboys and Prescott’s agent, Todd France, were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline, which meant Prescott had to play this season on the tag. The sides can resume negotiations after the season.
The Cowboys’ offer to Prescott over the summer included a $50 million signing bonus and around $110 million guaranteed, but the length of the deal was a sticking point. The Cowboys wanted a five-year deal, while Prescott was seeking four.
Both sides, however, have maintained belief that a long-term solution will happen.
The injury complicates the matter some, although a source pegged Prescott’s recovery time at four to six months. Wide receiver Allen Hurns suffered a similar injury in a 2018 playoff game and was ready for offseason work in a few months.
With the salary cap expected to decrease in 2021 because of financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cowboys prepared for the possibility of using the franchise tag on Prescott a second time by restructuring the contracts of Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and DeMarcus Lawrence. The moves created about $27 million in cap room in 2020 that the Cowboys will carry forward to next year.
Jones, however, was more concerned about Prescott’s health than about the finances. He and Jerry Jones, the owner and general manager, spoke with Prescott before he went to the hospital for surgery to clean the wound and repair the fracture.
“He’s our heartbeat. Just to lose him, just really just kills you in terms of deep down,” Stephen Jones said. “For him, you hurt for everything that he stands for and I think we’re still in shock. But certainly Dak is such a warrior. He’s been through a lot. He’s always overcome it and this is going to be no exception. He’s going to get in there and do what he needs to do, I’m sure. Obviously everybody’s prayers are with him. He should be able to do everything you need to do to rehab and come back ready to go. It’s just a very difficult setback for him and for us. It’s something that we feel great about him totally overcoming and be ready to go next year.”