Jerry Jones: Pie is getting smaller for future contracts

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The Cowboys have done big new deals with offensive tackle La'el Collins, linebacker Jaylon Smith and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence this offseason. That leaves less cap space available for other players.

Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that there may not be enough left over to pay everyone — obviously referring to running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper — to get what he wants.

“There’s no question the pie is getting smaller. To the extent we look at how much we allocate to each and every player, each and every position, that creates boundaries,” Jones said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.

Jones is right: With a salary cap, every dollar spent on one player is a dollar that can’t be spent on another player. The question is whether the Cowboys are willing to prioritize the three players who would seem to be up next, or whether they’re going to let at least one of them walk on the theory that they can’t pay everyone.

70 responses to “Jerry Jones: Pie is getting smaller for future contracts

  1. It is impossible to pay everyone, but you sign your core players and hope you draft well otherwise. Hell, he may have to let 2 of them walk. The two I am thinking will be the odd men out are Amari Cooper and Byron Jones.

  2. If Dalton Cook can’t stay healthy this year, Rick spielman needs to get on the phone and give Jurrah a call. Zeke would be a stud in Minny.

  3. BS. With signing bonus amoratization what itnis, and roster bonuses and wokkput bonuses and incentives, and an ever rising salary cap, the flexibility is there to pay who you want to pay, within reason.

    This is more NFL owner/GM speak to get leverage during negotations, and to prepare fans that the franchise will choose not to resign a guy.

  4. The NFL makes well over a billion dollars in a season. Just raise the salary cap, yet the players still make less than their Major League Baseball players and NBA players.

  5. Negotiating and discussing team composition and fiscal policies in the media? Now that’s a hall of famer!!!

  6. Byron Jones coming up too don’t forget. For the Cowboys it’s simple – tell Dak, Amari, and Zeke it’s nothing personal, but it’s in the teams best interest to keep the guys who are willing to take team friendly deals, as it allows the team to keep more good players. Dak isn’t a bum by any means, but you can generally find Dak-level play for far less than $35m a year. Running back is the most expendable position in sports. No super bowl winning team the last decade had a top 10 paid receiver at the time. All three off Dak, Zeke, and Amari should realize 90% of their production is replaceable at 10% of the cost.

  7. Cowboys were going to be well under the cap next year so, for now, the ‘Boys are looking ok for now – just no more Miles Austin or Brandon Carr contracts, please.

  8. What would Belichick do?
    Certainly never build a top heavy roster that jeopardizes depth
    Certainly never pay max dollars for a RB who is as likely to be injured as be available
    Certainly never give a top of the market contract to a middle of the pack QB
    Certainly never disclose to the media a single thought about roster build, contracts, tactics, etc

    Jerry, the anti-Belichick, just can’t help himself.

  9. The owners and players all make too much money anyway. I can’t wait until the tv money starts drying up, as it undoubtedly will. Then they’ll all get a taste of reality.
    I find it ironic that ESPN and the NFL channel have laid off many employees and slashed their budgets and the NFL can’t see the writing on the wall.
    I am one NFL who hopes there will be a prolonged strike or lock out. I have already found that’s there more to life than the NFL and I want other fans to discover the same thing. Only when it hits all of them in their wallets will they get the message that the fans are the ones who foot the bill for everything and we’re growing very weary of all the crap which has happened with the NFL.
    As far as I’m concerned, they can play all their games in a foreign country now, because I do not plan on going to one ever again.

  10. Individual greed will ultimately make the team itself poor. Three men (of 53)cannot take the loin’s share of the salary cap and expect the team to be a winner.

  11. Considering the salary cap has been rising by around $10 million per year for the past several years, who does Jerry think he’s kidding? The pie is quite literally growing.

  12. “but it’s in the teams best interest to keep the guys who are willing to take team friendly deals, as it allows the team to keep more good players.”
    _____________

    Is sounds easy enough but why exactly would anybody agree to play for the Cowboys on a team friendly deal? New England gets some of that given they’re in the Super Bowl almost every year with a Hall of Fame coach but Dallas hasn’t won anything in a long time and has a below-average coach and a meddling owner who would immediately feud with a good coach if he did have one.

  13. You are the same brilliant folks who mocked Dallas for taking Zeke so high. Dak must be paid, but he did not come in as a top earner, he earned it. So, by your own assessment of saying “Belichick would NEVER top load a roster”, what Dallas has done is bring in the best players, and now they have a great problem in trying to keep them all. Pretty much the opposite of what 28 or so other teams are dealing with. But, it was all an accident, right? Jerruh (who also by accident owns the most valuable sports franchise on the planet, like 10 year running now) is a TOTAL FREAKING IDIOT. (yeah, but 2 playoff wins since ’96). Yeah BUT 3 rings in 4 years! How many your team got all time? #doeshatinevergetold

  14. suncawy says:
    September 3, 2019 at 10:00 am
    The NFL makes well over a billion dollars in a season. Just raise the salary cap, yet the players still make less than their Major League Baseball players and NBA players.

    ——

    Why? How about GMs learn to better manager their roster and not overpay for mediocre players? Why would Dallas even consider paying Dak what he wants? He’s just not worth it. If the Cowboys are smart they will offer him something on the order of $22M and tell him to take it or leave it

  15. When you go ahead and pick a rb in the top 5 of the draft you are pretty much committing to soon having a top 5 paid rb in the league….if not then that was probably a wasted draft pick. The Giants just did the same thing last year with Saquon. The problem is, how high are you going to pay top tier rb’s? Having a rb account for 15 mill plus a year in cap space is nuts (gurley’s avg from 2020-22).

  16. I find myself being insensitive to the team who loves to gloat over being one of the richest franchise teams in organized sports.

    Don’t whine about the shrinking pie. Use another analogy, like you’re trying to build the richest franchise in the world without paying (fairly) the brick-layers.

  17. Sign Dak and Cooper, trade Zeke. The first two are never in the news for anything but football. Zeke is a unique talent for sure, but he never seems happy, he can’t go six months without doing something stupid off the field, whether criminal or not. His trade value will never be higher and RB is the trickiest position to compensate because the life span is so short. I agree with Zeke that he’s outplayed his contract, but I also recognize that the players agreed to these rookie contract structures and they are for the benefit of the owners. So this issue will continue to be an issue and Zeke will probably hold out. If he’s not on the field than what’s the point? Trade him and build up next years picks, then pay who is remaining.

  18. Moondance says:
    September 3, 2019 at 10:06 am

    What would Belichick do?
    Certainly never build a top heavy roster that jeopardizes depth
    Certainly never pay max dollars for a RB who is as likely to be injured as be available
    Certainly never give a top of the market contract to a middle of the pack QB
    Certainly never disclose to the media a single thought about roster build, contracts, tactics, etc

    Jerry, the anti-Belichick, just can’t help himself.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You do realize that Jerry is an owner and Bill B is a head coach, right? Not sticking up for Jerry, but maybe a more accurate post would point out that Jerry would never go to a seedy strip mall for a “massage”.

  19. Good luck Jerry!
    ——-
    For somebody to say you can only take so much because of the salary cap or you can only do this or that, I don’t know how fair that is to say,” Prescott said. “Because with gambling, with everything going into this league, everything is going to continue to keep going up.

    “It’s important for all these guys to get every bit of their worth. I want to see Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott] the highest paid. I want to see Amari [Cooper] the highest paid. I want to see myself up there.

    “And I don’t think any of that is too far-fetched. Because at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, a year or two later, you’re not going to be the highest paid. That’s just the way the game goes.”

  20. They’ve been smart so far… Emphasis on so far… The second they pay Dak a top of the market contract, all bets are off…

    But keeping that line in place should be a priority and they’ve done a great job doing that.

  21. The owners insisted on a hard cap. Won’t budge off it. Then when they run into a situation where they can’t fit all their players under said cap starts complaining about it. This is EXACTLY how you said you wanted the cap to work. Prevent bigger teams from spending more money than smaller teams and stockpiling talent. If you can’t sign all your players to fit under the cap some other team will be able to sign them via free agency and you receive compensatory draft picks.

    Why is Jerry acting like he doesn’t know this? Why are fans acting like they don’t know this?

  22. richndc …. you do realize that those rings were in the Jimmy Johnson era, a team Jones “inherited”. No, Jones just continues to do dopey things and has a rich franchise that hasn’t really won a thing since he has owned them.

  23. As the pie gets smaller so do the quality of the back-ups and why teams that try to pay all their stars (Seahawks, Denver) end up quickly becoming average and have to suck until they get rid of those contracts. If the Cowboys have one injury to any of their paid stars it will be a rookie free agent (like that turnstile tackle from a few years ago) at the best to fill-in at $500K a year and the rest of the starters are all well below average players because they can’t afford to pay anyone. Lose a star or two to a IR injury and the season is over.

  24. Off-season NFL saturation, too many pre-season boring, useless games, a broken “re-location” policy causing betrayal of fan bases (Chargers, Raiders, Jags to London, Bills to San Antonio)), a patronizing suck-up to protesters who are “using” the NFL to voice social issues, a “signing” of Jay-Z to “assist” in entertainment plans, flawed, inconsistent suspension applications, an over-control of games by officials, a weak commissioner who’s always on the fence in terms of leadership and decision-making. Hos motto…”go along to get along.”

  25. iejdaniel says:
    September 3, 2019 at 10:32 am
    Moondance says:
    September 3, 2019 at 10:06 am

    What would Belichick do?
    Certainly never build a top heavy roster that jeopardizes depth
    Certainly never pay max dollars for a RB who is as likely to be injured as be available
    Certainly never give a top of the market contract to a middle of the pack QB
    Certainly never disclose to the media a single thought about roster build, contracts, tactics, etc

    Jerry, the anti-Belichick, just can’t help himself.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You do realize that Jerry is an owner and Bill B is a head coach, right? Not sticking up for Jerry, but maybe a more accurate post would point out that Jerry would never go to a seedy strip mall for a “massage”.

    ———-

    They are also both the team’s GM….so the comparison is quite accurate. Perhaps Jerry should act more like Bob Kraft and let the football guys run the team

  26. suncawy says:
    September 3, 2019 at 10:00 am
    The NFL makes well over a billion dollars in a season. Just raise the salary cap, yet the players still make less than their Major League Baseball players and NBA players.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Not really. The NFL plays only 16 games/season while MLB is 162 and NBA and NHL are both 82 not cpounting playoffs. On a per game basis, NFL players earn far more than their counterparts in other leagues.

    Average annual salaries:
    MLB $4M (24,691/game)
    NBA $7.1M (85,366/game)
    NHL $4M (48,780/game)
    NFL $2.7M (168,750/game)

  27. People act like Jerry’s trying to be cheap and pocket the cash. HE’S GOING TO PAY THE MONEY TO PLAYERS. He’d just rather keep 10 great players than keep 3. News flash – the consistently successful NFL teams have been doing this for decades.

  28. I would be so frustrated if I was a fan of this team. Jerry cannot stop talking and it is not smart. They actually draft very well, have some really good players and made the playoffs last year. Manage the cap and shut your mouth.

  29. bocadiver1
    I have no love for the cowboys but your ignorance of history is showing.
    Jerry Jones HIRED Jimmy Johnson and fired Tom Landry.
    The team he “inherited” at the time was old and and were 3-13 in his last year.

    Jones and Johnson Built the team that won the rings with Johnson and Barry Switzer.

    If anything you an say the team he built with Johnsons help and subsequent mediocrity after Jimmy only proves that Jimmy was the key, not Jones.

  30. They actually make more, sports salaries go buy how many games are played.

    suncawy says:
    September 3, 2019 at 10:00 am
    The NFL makes well over a billion dollars in a season. Just raise the salary cap, yet the players still make less than their Major League Baseball players and NBA players.

  31. I think Jerry is, stating in GM speak, that Cooper is playing the last year as a Cowboy. I think WR is a much easier position to hit on in the draft than even the 15th or so best QB in the league. Is Dak one of the top QBs in the league, obviously not he doesn’t scratch the top 10, but he does fall somewhere in between 15th – 20th and fits what the Cowboys do on offense. If Jones is about to commit to or near the highest RB contract in the history of the NFL, he is signalling that someone will not be getting a big money contract. I think Jerry will be given Dak a $30+ million a year contract, if for no other reason than his on ego . . . remember he was the smartest GM for that draft where he took both Zeke and Dak . . . his ego will drive him to keep his 4th round genius steal of the draft!

  32. The NFL instituted the salary cap to insure parity. If they wanted true parity they would put a cap on each position. For example the offense could count 60% of the cap. Of that 60% the quarterback position could be 25%, line 25%, receivers 25%,running backs 25% or any way it works out. Then if you want 1 running back he gets the whole allotment or break it up between 2 or 3 backs. If every team had to use a similar model it would give an actual pay scale per position that would be league wide.

  33. You do realize that Jerry is an owner and Bill B is a head coach, right? Not sticking up for Jerry, but maybe a more accurate post would point out that Jerry would never go to a seedy strip mall for a “massage”.
    ————————————–
    You do realize both men are the principal personnel decision makers.
    Actually, I don’t think you realize that. Back to the fryolator

  34. “The NFL makes well over a billion dollars in a season.”

    Actually that’s not even close. Three or 4 years ago the league was generating 9+ billion a year, and I believe its gone up to more than 10 billion a year if not higher since then.

  35. This is why we lost Demarcus Ware to the Broncos. Paying the divas too much, so there wasn’t enough for guys like Ware.

  36. To the person who said Jerry is an owner and Bill is a coach that is very true but they are both the GMs of their teams. With that said if I’m Jerry I wouldnt care about Bill. I’ll take Jerry’s bank account over Bill’s. Not only that Jerry has 3 superbowls and is already in HoF. Not saying Bill won’t get in and I realize he has more superbowls but I could die happy with Jerry’s resume. His bank account will help me get over not having as many superbowls.

    Dallas should keep Amari and Zeke. Let Dak play on a tag or two and find his replacement. I know a good QB is hard to find but paying Dak 12mil more a year than he is worth is certainly going to make it harder for this team in the long term.

    They are building a good core of players that will be here for a few years. I dont think they should ruin it by overpaying one or two of these players in contract talks. I would like to see them trade one or two and move on smartly. So whatever of the two agree to team friendly deals first out of the 4, Amari, Zeke, Jones, and Dak and trade the other two.

  37. Someone needs to let Jerry know, if he doesn’t sign them someone else will…they will not go without getting paid just because he allocated the cap to different players…This is why the Pats are so good for so long, if they feel a player wants more than they want to pay they trade them or let them walk and get the comp pick….

  38. Zeek likes to eat so Jerrah better be ready to feed the man a bod bowl of cash!!!!
    Or DAllas will stay hungry when it comes to the playoffs that matter!!!!

  39. 2ruefan says:
    September 3, 2019 at 11:16 am

    bocadiver1
    I have no love for the cowboys but your ignorance of history is showing.
    Jerry Jones HIRED Jimmy Johnson and fired Tom Landry.
    The team he “inherited” at the time was old and and were 3-13 in his last year.

    Jones and Johnson Built the team that won the rings with Johnson and Barry Switzer.

    If anything you an say the team he built with Johnsons help and subsequent mediocrity after Jimmy only proves that Jimmy was the key, not Jones.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Actually, Mike Lynn of the Vikings was the key.

  40. It is quite interesting how ignorant 2/3 of the comments on here are. When in the big picture it does not matter what any of you or I think. We just blabber for no reason as not one of us will matter to anyone in this process.

  41. Name 1 team that will give Dak $35M or make Cooper the highest paid WR…Crickets

    Dak is worth $20M
    Cooper is great for Dallas and maybe a top 10 WR…

    Jerry is in the meetings where he hears Stephen and the others with a solid understanding of the talent…that’s why he half says this stuff.

    Everyone forget who we’re talking about? Jerry likes to look like he’s in on everything (Remember he asked Jimmy Johnson to speak with him on draft day when the cameras were on them while they were making the pick, optics are everything with him).

  42. As greedy as Dak is, he still should have took that $30 million a year contract when he had the chance. Greed is the root of all evil. Even Dak must know he’s not worth that much. Even if he was an unrestricted free agent, no other team would offer him that much

  43. purpleguy says:
    September 3, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    How dare you bring up one of the most painful days in Vikings fan history iejdaniel!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I’m with you there; always wondered why Lynn isn’t up there on the Cowboys Ring of (dis)Honor.

  44. icanspeel says:
    September 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm
    And that ladies and gentlemen is why the owners make sure there is only 1 pie to share among players.

    ———-

    How so? Each owner and team must abide by the same salary cap. A cap to which the owners and the players’ representatives both agreed. Only a poorly managed or desperate team would tie up too large a percentage of the cap in a very small number of players.

  45. Too much draft capital invested in Cooper. He’s gonna get paid and not go anywhere.

    Dak needs to be convinced to take a team friendly deal is what it will come down to.

  46. Save your breath trying to explain salary cap restrictions to all these divas who have probably never legitimately passed a finance class.
    Should just let em sit out and pay the guys that are team players and deserve it

  47. Dak Prescott is the only one I would pay. He’s the most underrated player in the NFL even though the Cowboys have won more games than all but 3 teams since he’s been there QB, and he hasn’t missed a game.

  48. With a salary cap, every dollar spent on one player is a dollar that can’t be spent on another player.
    ——————-
    well halleluhja! someone in the media figured out the obvious after 20 years of idiotic articles on belichick being “cheap” though the pats pay out the same salary as everyone else – just a helluva lot smarter.

  49. Dak is on his way to the Kirk Cousins treatment. If Dallas doesn’t sign Dak and they use high level draft capital on a QB, that will confirm their intention. Personally, if I were Jerrah, I would let Dak test the market and tell him Dallas would match any offer he gets.

  50. If Dalton Cook can’t stay healthy this year, Rick spielman needs to get on the phone and give Jurrah a call. Zeke would be a stud in Minny.

    ———————————————————————
    Because we all know how well the last trade of a star running back from Dallas to Minnesota went…

  51. You do realize that Jerry is an owner and Bill B is a head coach, right? Not sticking up for Jerry, but maybe a more accurate post would point out that Jerry would never go to a seedy strip mall for a “massage”.
    ————————————–

    Jerry Jones is more into chasing after stripper’s in strip clubs, just google it.
    It’s been well know for years.

  52. Jerry’s mad at both Zeke and Dak, so he’s going out of his way to sign others and make those two selfish ingrates sweat it out. Zeke “owes” Jerry more respect after Jerry stood up for him how many times when Zeke screwed up? And Everyone knows Dak is average to good. He wants to get paid like he’s Aaron Rodgers? He’s already profiting from commercials by being QB of America’s Team. Cmon dude, be reasonable, take 30, and call it a day. Sheesh!!

  53. Jerry’s mad at both Zeke and Dak, so he’s going out of his way to sign others and make those two selfish ingrates sweat it out, watching others get paid first from a limited pie. Zeke owes something to Jerry after Jerry stood up for him how many times when Zeke screwed up? And everyone knows Dak is average to good. He wants to get paid like he’s Aaron Rodgers? He’s already profiting from commercials by being QB of America’s Team. C’mon dude, be reasonable, take 30 million (that’s 30,000,000) per year, and call it a contract. Sheesh!

  54. I think in his mind JJ is trying to create leverage with his players but I think he’s alienating them.

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