The Cowboys trot out a new strategy for getting players to take less

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The Cowboys continue to be flummoxed by the refusal of three high-profile offensive players to take their “generous” offers. And so the Cowboys are doing whatever they have to do to get those players to conclude that they shouldn’t insist on every last dollar they can get.

Even though they should.

On Wednesday, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones ventured into delicate territory by inserting the team into the relationship between players and their agents.

“I have a lot of respect for, you know, most agents,” Jones told reporters, via Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports. “I really do. I think they’re trying to do their job for these players. But I do think sometimes they don’t have the end game that maybe the players should and we do.”

Basically, Jones believes that the agents’ focus on maximum the value of a short-term contract minimizes the effort of the player to achieve his long-term goals.

“I think sometimes our players have to realize that their representatives don’t always have what’s in the best interest, getting the very most they can for the players may not be in the interest of their long-term future if they want to – and I’m totally [convinced] all our players do — want to win championships and keep these young players right now. I don’t think the representatives, and they’re all good ones, feel like that’s their problem.”

Stephen Jones isn’t necessarily wrong; indeed, some agents have shrugged at a player’s chance of winning a Super Bowl because they don’t get three percent of the ring. But Stephen Jones is definitely the wrong person to be making this argument. Between agents and teams, agents ALWAYS are more concerned about boosting the players’ best interests. The teams are interested only in their own best interests, and they will bench, cut, trade, etc. any player the moment that the player no longer can help the team.

That’s true regardless of whether the player hires an agent on a percentage-based fee, retains a lawyer at an hourly rate, or negotiates the deal on his own. The goal for the player in every case is, or at least should be, to secure maximum compensation for the abilities, sacrifices, and risks undertaken by NFL players, both short-term and long-term. Now more than ever, given all we know about the very real health effects of the sport, football players should in every instance strive to get the most they can for playing football.

As players like Peyton Manning and Darrelle Revis firmly believed, it’s their job to get the most money, and it’s the team’s job to manage the salary cap. The Cowboys want to make their job of fitting a bunch of great players under the salary cap easier by saying and doing anything they can to get their players to take less. It’s one thing, however, to suggest that there’s an inherent value to being a Dallas Cowboy. It’s quite another to pretend that the team cares about the player more than his agent does.

Indeed, only one day before Stephen Jones suggested that the teams has the players’ best interests in mind, his father made it clear that it’s all about the team.

“The team takes precedent at a point over the opinion or the demand of the individual,” Jerry Jones said at the press conference unveiling a team-friendly deal for linebacker Jaylon Smith that, given his injury history, he was not inclined to reject. “The team takes precedent. This was a team move we are talking about today. The team takes precedent, and I’ve got the backbone to keep it that way.”

Jerry has the backbone to keep it that way (until he doesn’t), and Stephen is trying to make the players’ knees wobbly by suggesting that they shouldn’t listen to the efforts of those who have been hired to get them the best deals possible. This tactic demonstrates why all players need good agents; if given the chance, any NFL team will run roughshod financially over any and every player, paying as little as possible — especially when trying to keep a broad nucleus of talent in place.

71 responses to “The Cowboys trot out a new strategy for getting players to take less

  1. New England has been doing this for 15 years and now the Cowboys are gonna try and take credit for being a trend setter !

  2. Everything Stephen and Jerry said is 100% accurate. Making Dak, Zeke, and Amari the highest paid at their respective positions will not get this team a championship. Period. The Patriots have been doing what Stephen and Jerry are talking about for 2 decades, and we all know what the reward is.

    I get wanting to maximize your earning potential while you’re young, but isn’t anybody interested in glory anymore? The Cowboys have an abundance of young talent on both sides of the ball,but giving all of your money to a slightly better than average QB, a WR1, and an RB1 is not how you build sustained success. (although I would cave and give Zeke what he wants because with him, they are a superbowl contender) If $20M/year vs $15M/year is the difference between your family being cared for and ending up on skid row, then you’ve got problems that stretch way beyond money.

  3. disagree strongly with your take on there being no inherit value in being a Dallas Cowboy. All you have to do is listen to way some of these guys talk about wearing the Star. There is value in it, the same way there is value is donning the pin stripes. (there is also no state tax in Texas, so why not take a little bit less if its the difference between winning a championship or being an also ran with a fat salary?)

  4. I realize it seems counterintuitive, but squeezing a team for every last penny also make the team more likely to cut a player when the later, high-dollar years in the contract approach (most contracts are back-loaded). The team is less likely to keep a player as they get older, which is when back-loaded contracts count the most against the cap, and thus they’ve priced themself right out of the market.

  5. I hope Zeke spurns the Cowboys and takes big money from another team. It is arrogant for the cowboys to expect the players to take less from the Cowboys than what they can get on the open market. Cowboys owner/execs need to do a better job of counting their pennies.

  6. Peyton Manning wasn’t all about getting the highest salary. His last contract with the Colts was equal to Brady’s contract at $18mm per year. Peyton also took a lower salary with the Broncos.

  7. Well, it could be argued everyone in the sport has an obligation to protect and enhance the welfare of the sport. To some extent, every player’s success hinges on the talent surrounding him on the team. To capitalize on that team talent when one achieves success by demanding a contract that cripples the team and its future is not in keeping with the obligation. This applies to agents, players, and owners.

  8. You do realize if a handful of players eat up 80% of a teams cap, the rest of the 53 man roster will be scrubs or players who resent the high paid players. Ask Erin Rodgers how this is going, it’s also why Manning didn’t win many more rings than he did. Let the ones who want top dollar go and wreck another teams cap.

  9. “A bunch of great players” No. Elliot is an elite RB for sure. Positional value is low however. Dak is better than average starting QB and Cooper is a low end WR1, really more of a possession receiver. There are at least 10 WR I would take higher. That is the problem. Two good, not great players want record setting money and the one who deserves it most plays a position that is undervalued.

  10. The players only concern is to put as much money in their pocket as they can before they can no longer play, which could be much sooner then they believe; Superbowl’s simply don’t matter if they did every player in the league would be playing for much less, it is hyperbole purely for the fans and the few owners that care.

    The problem with the Cowboys is the lack of a real GM, change that and they may win more or the Jones’s could offer less money but with fully guaranteed contracts. No player should ever take a team friendly deal because they could be cut the next day with out much recourse.

  11. The problem with trying to manage salaries like the Patriots and still having a great win-loss record is that most other teams don’t have the coach that the Patriots have.

  12. The value of being a Dallas Cowboy is that being the largest valued sports team in the world, there are millions of dollars available in endorsements that aren’t available to other smaller teams. If the player is good, these endorsements last well beyond their playing years.

  13. Pure speculation: The NFL market will change to a sign your rookies, let them play out the contact and hit the open market. The market will take care of its self. When there are 31 starting WRs on the FA market the supply will outweigh demand and if they want a job they’ll take less. If you like your guys you need to sign them in their 3rd year to an extension. Holdouts will still be there but with even more bad PR than they get now.

  14. He has a point. The agent is out for their own bottom line, while signing their client to a max possible deal also puts a bullseye on their player’s back to be cut ASAP. Taking 80% sometimes allows the full deal to be seen through rather than just the guaranteed money along with specific players taking foot off the competitive gas and basically calling it a career once the contract is signed.

  15. We focus so much on this framing of “taking less” being a bad thing, rooting star players on to maximize every last cent they can get.

    But we don’t seem to acknowledge that it’s a pie – a larger piece for one means less for everyone else. When stars use their leverage to get more, they block players who make less from getting more.

    This framing of it turns multi-millionaires making more money than any of their teammates into victims, which doesn’t seem appropriate.

    If we want to advocate for player welfare, focusing on moving the floor up for the lowest-paid players seems more important than raising the ceiling for mega-millionaires who are already set for life many times over.

  16. Sure, if the best player on every team would take a league minimum deal, you’d have the ’92 dream team.

    To suggest that it’s in the best interest of the player, though, is laughable. The NFL is no different than any other business – employees should take as much money as they can get for providing their talents. Winning a championship is a fun moment, earning multimillions to ensure your family never incurs financial stress is a secure lifetime.

  17. If it was as simple as using the leverage the CBA gives the team, it’d be easy.

    Pay Dak. Franchise QB’s don’t grow on trees and he’s been ridiculously outperforming his rookie deal. And Cousins demonstrated the risks of franchising QB’s. So, pay Dak.

    Let Cooper play on his 5YO; I believe he’s getting 12M this year. He seems ok with that. Either sign him to a long term deal next year, franchise him, or let him walk depending on how he does this year.

    Wait out Zeke. He’ll play… Ride him like you stole him this year. Play him on HIS 5YO next season. Again, ride him HARD. Franchise him once after that if he’s still elite. Then, having used up his prime, either toss him like a rag or pay him some sort of lesser deal that reflects the reality that, I mean, gosh Zeke, you’re kinda used up! Oops! “Who knew?!”


    So in a dispassionate world, the path forward is clear. But these are humans, part of a team full of other humans, playing a sport on a field full of elite athletes. There’s a lot to be said- maybe everything- about the value of team spirit, and of guys being bought-in. Is Zeke an elite runner if he’s taking 5% off the gas pedal to try to save his body for when he’s finally a free agent? Prob not. Anyone who plays sports knows that it’s that last little bit that often separates who excels and who doesn’t.

    I want to add that I’m against the franchise tag because it allows the kind of what I think are abuses as outlined above. I’m ALWAYS rooting for the player. Nonetheless, technically speaking, the above scenario is easy to line out.

  18. In some instances, I would agree, but when a decent portion of the contracts (usually about half) aren’t guaranteed the players need to get what they can get when they can. Zeke is a tremendous back, but would anyone be surprised if he hit the wall in his late 20s the way so many great backs have. Heck, look at what happened to DeMarco Murray after Dallas ran him into the ground.

    Zeke probably deserves every cent of what he’s asking for… This notion that Dak should be paid like a top 5 QB is insane. They should pay Zeke, pay Cooper and then franchise Dak if they have to.

  19. An objective is to maximize compensation, but its not the only objective. An agent’s job is to represent the interests of the client. In some cases, that may be about taking less money in exchange for other considerations such as location, team competitiveness, player marketability, etc.

    Maximizing compensation could be considered the primary consideration in the absence of a salary cap. However, with a cap in place, the player does need to understand that as they take more, they leave less for others. Furthermore, you increase the risk of being cut later on, which may actually reduce your long term earnings potential. The agent should be helping the player optimize their value, when taking into consideration every factor relevant to the player.

  20. It’s a business. Players have 5-7 years to make their money and that usually means just ONE opportunity with their 2nd contract. I don’t blame anyone for trying to get the best deal. They are making a lifetime of earnings in just a few short years, so they have to maximize their earnings on that 2nd contract.

  21. kcflake says:
    August 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I hope Zeke spurns the Cowboys and takes big money from another team. It is arrogant for the cowboys to expect the players to take less from the Cowboys than what they can get on the open market.


    Change “Zeke” to “Le’veon” and “Cowboys” to “Steelers” and I think you might want to rethink your comment as to just how this all might work out for Zeke.

  22. Son of Jerrah reminds me of Junior, Buford T. Justice’s son in Smokey and the bandit…

    “No Daddy I ain’t NEVER Leaving Home”

  23. kcflake says:
    August 22, 2019 at 11:54 am
    I hope Zeke spurns the Cowboys and takes big money from another team. It is arrogant for the cowboys to expect the players to take less from the Cowboys than what they can get on the open market. Cowboys owner/execs need to do a better job of counting their pennies.

    Well Dallas can control him for the next 4 years with only 36 guaranteed, 5 if they really wanted to so…. Not really an option he has….

  24. The Cowboy’s GM an VP are right on this…maybe Stephen shouldn’t have said it quite that way but Dak and Zeke are losing more in the court of public opinion than they are by taking, from all local accounts, very good offers.

    It is a business and with any business, there are unintended consequences. Jaylon Smith understands the brand value and will likely leverage that to surpass Cooper and Elliot in total compensation.

  25. Zeke has really hurt his chances of benefiting from endorsements with the team brand. His off the field problems will likely mean he never sees that extra benefit. This is quite the catch 22 for the Cowboys and Zeke. Cowboys have to be cautious because of the risk, but this is all Zeke has for the future.

    Dak can definitely capitalize on the team brand. Dak is good, not one of the top 5 QB’s though. Expecting top 5 money is hard to swallow but the Cowboys don’t have any other option but to pay him if that is what he wants.

    Cooper makes Dak better. If you pay Dak, you gotta pay Cooper or it was a waste of money. Dak needs a number one receiver. Saying receiver by committee didn’t work is a massive understatement.

    Good on Jaylon. He is getting paid (not what he is worth) but maybe good enough and he can run out and get those endorsements. His team friendly deal makes all Cowboys fans smile and want his Jersey.

  26. Sounds like a lot of whining about not being able to afford every player. Welcome to the NFL.

    These players are out there breaking bones and tearing ligaments, and probably getting multiple concussions over their time playing.(usually not more than 4 years or so)

    Maintaining their physical condition is A LOT of work. It’s not easy, which is why most of the general public look like garbage. They really need to maximize their earning as much as possible while they physically can.

    If the player is comfortable with their financial situation and wants to choose to try to win above being paid maximum value, that is their decision to make.

    They shouldn’t be pressured by a super rich management team that is already financially set for life and sitting in some super yacht covered in 20 year old bikini girls.

    The owner and other management are the ones that will be gloating about all the wins long after the players that actually did the hard work are gone.

    When was the last time the owners sacrificed for any of the players? Look how the players at the bottom of the roster are treated. Torn ACL in a preseason game? Bye bye. Third stringer accused of a crime they actually didn’t commit? Cut before the charges even get dropped.

    You want to pay the players less money so you can field a super team? Give them fully guaranteed contracts with “no cut, no trade” clauses. See how far that gets.

  27. Just curious if there is no hard cap, what teams would spend on top tier talents. Or in a soft cap like the NBA or MLB…it would be very interesting. But for the record, I am in favour of the NFL system, always have to keep things equal.

  28. I would only say that being a Cowboy, without question the team that according to TV ratings, draws the most eyeballs, has an inherent value. Also, TX has no state income tax. What’s the state tax hit on 30 mil a year in NY?

    If Dak Prescott had gone to Buffalo, and had the exact same 3 years, does anyone really think he would have national endorsement deals?

  29. kcflake says:
    August 22, 2019 at 11:54 am
    I hope Zeke spurns the Cowboys and takes big money from another team. It is arrogant for the cowboys to expect the players to take less from the Cowboys than what they can get on the open market. Cowboys owner/execs need to do a better job of counting their pennies.


    spurns them and what….stays in Cabo for 2 years? You think he’ll return from a 2 year layoff and have a fat contract thrown his way?

  30. Bigugly says:
    August 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm
    It’s a business. Players have 5-7 years to make their money and that usually means just ONE opportunity with their 2nd contract. I don’t blame anyone for trying to get the best deal. They are making a lifetime of earnings in just a few short years, so they have to maximize their earnings on that 2nd contract.


    lifetime of earnings in a few short years? Most of these guys have degrees from great schools and the smart ones continue earning long after retirement. You think Roger Staubach is rich because of his NFL money? No. He’s rich because he parlayed his pro athletics career to a career in business.

  31. ciderboy73 says:
    August 22, 2019 at 11:46 am
    Well, winning for one helps!! You never hear these problems out of Foxboro!! They would rather take less to help the team!!

    Other than Brady that isn’t the case. Belichick just trades or releases players rather than pay them top dollar most of the time.

    As a fan you always hope players will look at winning as a trade off for not getting the most money but it isn’t realistic. Players are always going to try and get as much as they can and any fan in that situation would do the same. They have a limited time in this sport to make a lot of money and no one should fault them for doing just that.

  32. This is pro sports. These guys are contracted professionals. Giving billionaires back millions of their dollars to have a slightly better chance than 1/32 of winning a championship is childish and pathetic.

    All of you guys talking about “glory” and caring about winning, this isn’t middle school football. Grow up.

  33. According to PFT, the Cowboys should pay Prescott $40M a year, Elliott $20M a year, and Cooper $22M a year, if that’s what they want. Somehow, it’s “wrong” of the team to insist that a demanded price is too high, but it’s a-ok for a player to demand the moon, eh?

  34. If you are Prescott, Elliott or Cooper and you see what they are paying Lawrence and Jaylon Smith, you may say, hey I cam more valuable to the team and more important than those players. Why shouldn’t I be paid accordingly?

  35. @ktoast, that is what people say when it isn’t their money. The difference between $15M and $20M is a lot. We are talking generational money here, not your short term thinking of wealth. Glory? Whose glory? Glory doesn’t send your great great grand kids to whatever college they want to pursue whatever interest they want long after your Super Bowl has been forgotten and no one cares what you did. Give me the money and I will take care of my own while you take the glory and see where that gets you in even 10 years. Someone might buy you a beer at the bar.

  36. It still come down to teams have a cap they have to manage. Do you blow most of your cap on 2-3 players or do you spread out your cap money? Do you want to win a championship, or just play entertaining football. Which puts more butts in seats? Which sells more merchandise?

    There are many owners and GM’s in all sports, that aren’t really trying to win a championship. It more about the bottom line. It’s become how to spend less, and hopefully remain sort of competitive, so I can bring more to the bottom line when the season ends. It’s a balancing act for them. I could name quite a few teams in all sports that have adopted this philosophy, but most sports fans already who they are.

    As far as the Cowboys and Jerry Jones, I totally believe he wants to win a championship. Jerry not getting any younger. His legacy is at stake. His glory days were when Jimmy Johnson coached the Cowboys. I believe in Jerry’s mind he needs to win another championship with another coach not named Jimmy Johnson to secure his legacy. He’s not about entertaining fans. He wants another championship. Will he overspend, very possible some. But he won’t break the bank for any one player. Jerry realizes he needs a ‘team’ to win a championship. One player does not make a team. It has to be all about the team and team goals. It’s not about satisfying one person’s greed.

  37. The problem with the all about the team argument is that every player is only one injury away from not having any value to the team and another injury to not competing for a Championship that is completely outside the players scope of control. Also the Jones argument is applicable to Zeke but really isn’t applicable to Dak and Cooper. As stated in other posts on here, Dak is an average to slightly above average starting QB, he isn’t a $30 million/year valued QB and Cooper is a #1 WR but isn’t a top 10 guy, so he isn’t a $16 million a year WR, so the Jones argument of inherit value of being a Cowboy actually hurts in both those cases. Because they can maximize their exposure as a Cowboy premier player by signing a true free agent contract next year, performing well for a team with a great offensive line in a big market venue actually raises both players market value beyond what their true worth is. Whereas the Jones argument is correct with Zeke, they want to pay him less than his true value, but Zeke shouldn’t settle for that. What if he blows out a knee next year? What if Dak or the LT goes down? In the first scenerio Zeke could never again be worth the Cowboys signed him for and won’t earn the back end of his contract. In the second scenario any team first theory goes out the window because there is not a viable backup at either position and the Cowboys challenge for a titled is pretty much flushed away.

  38. Every team pays what they’re supposed to pay. Whatever % of the cap on a 4-year rolling average. It’s just about 3-5 players who want 10 pieces of pie and the other 50 guys to split 5.

    It’s good to be a Pats fan. All the players know what’s up. If they wanna chase money, they can go do that. But they’re one of the few teams with a middle class on their roster. Van Noy, etc. You could even argue that guys like Slater are overpaid. But it’s better than giving 1 DL (who could easily be double teamed) 25 million or whatever. RBs can get their 3-5 million there and not be ground into the dirt.

  39. Lets not forget that unlike Gurley or Bell, Zeke is in trouble all the time. He was suspended 6 games a year ago and cost Jerry millions defending him. Zeke was just in the comissioner’s office again last month. He has very little maturity. I’d wait a year or two before locking him up with long term security. His play might deserve it, but his behavior does not.

    Dak and Amari have been good, responsible, mature players.

  40. The salary cap really does call into question the idea that players should fight for every penny they can get. On teams the regularly spend less than the cap maximum, telling a player to take less money won’t fly. But on a team that always hovers near the maximum and has prospects of winning it all, it is a legitimate argument. If the player has a goal of being on a Super Bowl team, taking less money makes sense. That allows the team to put better talent around him and maximize their odds of winning.

  41. Titan says:
    August 22, 2019 at 12:17 pm
    Discounts only work in Foxborough.


    But how did it get that way? It wasn’t always that way. NE was a punching bag and also-ran for a long time without anywhere near the cache of the Cowboys.

    They did what they had to do to build a SB-winning team first. Then they used that leverage to incrementally put their culture in place, year by year, and they’ve both stuck to it and adapted on the fly to keep it in place.

    What makes them stand out is that they seem to view winning, and winning it all, as the door to what everyone (players, coaches, owner, front office) wants. Hardly anyone else seems to want to take this kind of disciplined approach. Everyone else’s approaches seem kind of desperate, reactive, and short-sighted in comparison.

    Jones has taken another alternate road. He wants another SB winner, but he’s managed to create continuity and enormous financial success while exercising a lot of patience. Yet that trophy remains out of reach.

  42. I mean, the agents aren’t being hired by the teams themselves, so of course they aren’t going to be approaching their job thinking, “How can I negotiate Player X’s contract so that Team Y can best be positioned to win a championship?” It’s not the role of the player’s agent to do that, unless the player instructs the agent to engage in that kind of thinking.

  43. Cooper isn’t worth top money, Dak would do them a favor by not signing and Zeke has 2 more years left on his contract

  44. If Jerrah wants his players to take less money and commit to the team, perhaps the team should commit to them with fully guaranteed salaries. Then, a top 5 contract might be worth settling for. But Jerrah wants his players to take less now, with no guarantee that they’ll still be around to benefit from the higher salaries in out years, or from endorsements (that should add to their salary, not be an offset). Commitment goes both ways.

  45. You ever notice that when the rich old guys trot their kids out to speak to the world it quickly becomes apparent that the kid is an idiot?

  46. When a player earns less money than his potential and wins SB rings, what happens when his career is over and other teams say he’s “washed up?” Do those rings pay the bills?

  47. Peyton and Revis, you say?
    Well let’s see, Peyton was a perennial stats monster with a losing record in the Super Bowl and I believe the playoffs.
    Revis is one of the most overrated corners I’ve ever seen.


  48. johnodocks says:
    August 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm
    The problem with trying to manage salaries like the Patriots and still having a great win-loss record is that most other teams don’t have the coach that the Patriots have.


    “Most”? It’s more like “none”.

  49. All players should try and get every penny they can at all times, but Zeke needs to understand that he is under contract for 2 more years and is already making top 10 RB because he was drafted so high. Just be patient Zeke, Jerry will cut you a fat cheque when it’s your turn.

  50. Let Dak and Zeke walk, or trade them when you can. The Pats are successful because Brady has such a low cap hit every year they can spread the money around. Brady is an elite QB taking less money. If the pats had a mediocre QB at the same price it wouldn’t work. Zeke can be replaced. Did the Steelers really miss Bell that much last year? Pollard can be the next Conner.

    My theory is that the NFL is entering a phase where the only real contenders are going to be the ones that either get an elite QB to take less money, or they have a strong team built around a QB still on his rookie deal.

  51. Well, of course the team takes precedent–for Jones. After all, Jones owns the team. Of course he’d care more about the team than he would about an individual player. It’s the players job to care more about the player, and it’s the owner’s job to care more about the team. See how this works?

  52. Players should try to get the most guaranteed money they can in the first couple years because we all know what happens when the guaranteed portion of the contract runs out. PS…Stephen Jones is a dope.

  53. As much as I hate Dallas, Jerry’s right. Theyve got a bunch of young stars to make tough decisions on in the future…not just Zeke, Dak, and Amari. Theyve got Byron Jones and other young guys they will have to pay.

    It’s almost like they’re being punished for drafting well.

  54. if given the chance, any NFL team will run roughshod financially over any and every player, paying as little as possible
    sounds so righteous, but the fact is there is a salary cap that ALL teams have to payout at least 89% of and most teams payout ALL of. I’ll spend my pity on the oppressed in China or Vietnam, etc.

  55. Maximum compensation is a slippery slope.

    Consider, these “max deals” are back-loaded in annual salaries. Making it inevitable that the player will be cut before the contract matures.

    However, contrast to a more “team friendly” deal (that is, perhaps slightly -but not materially- less than they could have gotten otherwise; this contract will be more favorable on the back end. Thus, lower risk of getting cut. Ergo, more money in the pocket of the NFL player.

    It’s not rocket surgery, but more aligned to time-value of money. It reminds me that young adults who pursue a trade school program (18-months to 2 years) can begin working sooner and with less debt than that of a person who pursued a bachelors degree. The trade school guy, if he begins investing early, will have more savings for retirement than say, the engineer who took 4-6 years of school and high debt.

  56. You write as if the Cowboys are trying to low-ball these players!?

    What has been stated by the front office so far is that each of Dak, Amari and Zeke have been offered top-5 contracts. This has not been refuted by either players representative, so it is probably true. Looking at each player this would mean that:

    – Amari Cooper has been offered +16.2 million per year, which is on par with the recent deals given to Thielen, Hopkins, Cooks, and Evans and only lacking Michael Thomas, OBJ and AB. Given how recent those contracts are it is difficult to argue that Cooper should top those.

    – Dak Prescott has been offered at least 30 million per year. I would be fine with paying him 32.5m per year to leapfrog Wentz, but no way he will beat out the recent deals given to Rodgers, Russell or Big Ben (though that last one annoys me).

    – Zeke is at little different, because unlike the two others he is a legit top-3 at his position right now. The problem here is that there is a huge gap between number 3 and number 4 on the avg. salary list. No 3 (David Johnson) averages 13m/year, while no 4 (Devonta Freeman) averages 8.25m/year. The latest big money deal (Le’veon Bell) is 1.25m/year lower than Gurley’s marquee deal signed a year ago. It’s difficult to guess what the cowboys have offered, but it is also difficult to justify more than 10-12m/year for a RB, regardless of talent.

    Aside from Zeke, I would say that these players are probably scratching top-10 (yes I like Dak) at their position, so Top-5 money more than takes into account that the cap is increasing every year and seems as a fair offer. On top of that is the additional revenue that comes from being a Cowboy, as well as no state tax on income.

  57. Trade Zeke. Probably get a late first/early second round pick.

    Save that cap for other players that are willing to show up and be team oriented.

    Pollard is probably 90% as good and will get the job done.

    Someone has to put a foot down and put an end to this nonsense. Players are holding franchises hostage and are keeping them from winning titles. Earning 10 and 100’s of millions is never enough for them and their greedy agents. They don’t care about winning.

  58. This is coming from the family that has saved $100 million or more in QB salaries alone since 2005 by signing an un-drafted free agent and a 4th RD. pick to the position ,not to mention , no draft picks were involved in either acquisition. Jerrah between you and me – get it up Hoss !

  59. I would hardly call Jaylon Smith’s contract “team friendly” based on the number of snaps he has played. I’d call it a leap.

    Stephen Jones’ logic is actually pretty good. Team has to balance 53 guys (more considering IR, etc.) while the agent worries only about the players they represent. Any player with an IQ above 75 will know any dollar they get is one less for another player to get. But you can’t fault a player for maximizing himself if that’s what he wants to do and winning is not as important to them (lot of guys don’t want to make the playoffs and extend the season, they just want to go home and recover and be with their families). Takes all sorts to make a team/league. When a player asks for too much, they sit all year (Bell) and lose. Even sitting part of the regular season, they lose. But everyone loses in a strike (worker and employer).

  60. Trying to sell taking less to win a championship is a great idea if you actually have a chance to do that. However asking someone to take less for a team that hasn’t won anything in 3 decades is laughable. Nice try Jerrah!!!

  61. the problem with that logic is that the cowboys dont have the economic wherewithal to match wits with new england when it comes to the scouting talent side of football. the cowboys recognize great players but its the middle and back end of the roster where they will fail to properly navigate with extra salary cap money if they even had any. the patriots players dont really make that much less than most because they are rewarded with bonus money and incentives reached to maximize their potential earnings. with the vitriol that a lot of cowboys fans have expressed towards dak and zeke, i dont really blame them for wanting as much as possible.

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