Cowboys news: Dak Prescott demands record contract - or does he?

NFL: Preseason-Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys news is here...

Dak Prescott seeking extension worth $40M/year - Jeremy Bergman, NFL.com
So, yesterday afternoon Jane Slater dropped this little nugget on the Twitterverse:

Needless to say the reaction was swift and vocal.

Dak Prescott wants to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. That much is clear from his latest contract demand.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who is entering the final year of his contract and has been negotiating an extension with the club, has turned down a deal worth $30 million per year and is instead seeking a contract worth $40 million per year, NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Monday, per a source informed of the talks.

If Prescott were to sign a deal worth $40 million in annual average value (AAV), that would make him the league’s highest-paid QB in AAV by $5 million, around 14.3 percent more than the league-high $35M per year that Russell Wilson is making on his current deal, per Spotrac.

A $30M-per-year pact, meanwhile, would put Prescott in the company of Matt Ryan (fifth in AAV).

Naturally, there were competing opinions on whether such a demand had come from the Prescott camp.

Dak Prescott reportedly asks Dallas Cowboys for $40M/year, fans laugh - Andy Nesbitt, ForTheWin.com

The good folks at For The Win captured the general reaction in a series of tweets.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is entering the final year of his rookie contract and he’s looking forward to finally getting paid some big bucks for being the starting QB of one of the riches franchises in all of sports.

And apparently he’s not looking (rightly) to settle for any hometown discount, which would be ridiculous.

Reports on Monday came out that Prescott, who has started every game the past three seasons but is just 1-2 in the playoffs, had turned down a $30 million a year deal and instead asked for $40 million a year, which would make him the highest-paid QB in the league.

A sampling of the fun:

NFL 100: Best players in Cowboys history - K. D. Drummond, CowboysWire.com
Our good friend K. D. tackles the impossible and names the top 100 players in Cowboys history. Let the debates begin.

This may be the NFL’s 100th season, but 59 years’ worth of Cowboys history stands tall among the giants. Everything is bigger in Texas. Dallas has been the home of many of the league’s best players and a handful of its most colorful personalities. Reflecting on a roll call of greatness is a tougher task than many other organizations, as Dallas has more than enough worthy inclusions in a top-100 list of all time.

As such, a formula was necessary to measure individual impact across the last six decades that produced eight trips to the Super Bowl and five championships.

Starting with Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value metric — a useful tool to help evaluate contributions across the various eras — each member of the organization was scored on their career achievements, three-season peaks, game-by-game greatness, longevity and postseason contributions.

The result, the definitive list of the best 100 players in Dallas Cowboys history through the 2018 season.

Monday Morning After: Sorting out Cowboys skill-position battles after the preseason opener – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
Sturm gives his thoughts on the state of the Cowboys after pre-season game number one, including a look at the wide receiver battle.

Cedric Wilson is a 2018 sixth-rounder who was both a bit old as a draftee and was immediately injured at training camp last year. If you can get past that lost year in 2018 and just focus on his two seasons at Boise State in 2016 and 2017 plus what we have seen so far at camp, I really like what he offers the team. Wilson’s ability to make catches in traffic is easily apparent. He is not the most explosive guy on the roster by any stretch, but he catches everything close to him. I worry about his ability to stay healthy, but he is quite productive and may be big enough to contribute on coverage units. His Saturday performance only increased his value for me, but he was hit hard and illegally during the game and we await his status moving forward as he was pretty shaken up. I am told he appeared to be in pretty good shape after the game.

Reading Into The Cowboys’ Plans For Pollard - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
Over at the Mothership, David Helman looks at the Cowboys surprising bubble-wrap treatment of rookie Tony Pollard in Saturday night’s game.

Most of Saturday’s opening series was pretty routine for a preseason game.

The Cowboys’ starters took the field, got nine plays under their belts, settled for a field goal and retired to the bench to wear baseball caps for the rest of the night. It was the standard stuff that’s seen all across the NFL at the start of the preseason.

It was a bit unusual to see Tony Pollard get the same treatment. The rookie running back played with the starters for the entire first series, carrying the ball four times for 16 yards and helping march the ball to the San Francisco 7-yard line.

“He had a couple good runs, a couple good protections, seemed comfortable, it didn’t seem too big for him,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

That was the end of Pollard’s night. When the offense returned to the field later in the first quarter, it was fellow rookie Mike Pollard getting the reps with the second team. Darius Jackson and Jordan Chunn mixed into the action as the night went on.

Asked about it Monday, Garrett chalked it up as part of the plan for playing time.

“We wanted to see all the backs in that Week 1 game, and he’ll get plenty of work here as we go the next few weeks,” he said.

Tony Pollard is pawn in Cowboys’ negotiations with Ezekiel Elliott - Henry McKenna, ForTheWin.com
Some see an ulterior motive for the way the Cowboys are treating their rookie, fourth-round pick.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones needs leverage in negotiations with running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is in the midst of an extended holdout from training camp. Because of that contract dispute, Jones also needs rookie running back Tony Pollard to excel in Elliott’s absence.

If Pollard plays well — much like Steelers running back James Conner played well when Le’Veon Bell held out for the whole 2018 season — the Cowboys will be well equipped to hold firm on whatever offer is on the table for Elliott (which apparently isn’t rich enough). So while teams typically try to avoid hyping up their players at the early stages of their careers, Jones is already praising Pollard, the 2019 fourth-round draft choice.

Cowboys roster projection 1.0: Dallas keeps two QBs and Taco Charlton doesn't make the 53 - Calvin Watkins, SportsDay
While it’s never too early for mock 53-man rosters, we’re now 26 days from an actual Cowboys game that counts and that means we’re moving into peak mock roster season (which I think is a 90’s alt-country band).

Wide Receiver:

Tavon Austin

Michael Gallup

Cedrick Wilson

Randall Cobb

Amari Cooper

Jon’Vea Johnson

This is a top-heavy group led by Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Tavon Austin and Randall Cobb. After that is plenty of uncertainty. Jon'Vea Johnson and Cedrick Wilson have impressed the coaches. Consistency is Johnson's biggest problem. Noah Brown's injuries are costing him a spot on this team. Jalen Guyton and Reggie Davis have shown flashes at times to make the competition for this group very interesting.