The Privilege Of Playing For The Cowboys

That's not going to work with Dak.

Jim Rome
September 19, 2019 - 9:54 am
Dak Prescott

USA Today

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It wasn’t that long ago that people were debating whether Dak Prescott deserved to be paid like a superstar quarterback. Two games into the season, he has a passer rating of 142.9, a completion percentage of 82.3, a 2-0 record, and a Sports Illustrated cover.

And that article in Sports Illustrated is all about one thing: money. As in how much the Dallas Cowboys are making and how they negotiate with players? And there is an interesting subtext to the article.

That being a Dallas Cowboy has perks. Financial perks. Meetings with movers and shakers. Access to money and people who can make you even more money. 

As one agent told SI: “The players know if you can put a team like this together and win Super Bowls, they’ll have probably six-figure autograph deals for the rest of their lives. [The Cowboys] don’t slam it down anyone’s throat, but they let people know: If you stay here and good things happen, you’re all going to be able to make money when you’re done playing.”

And the subtext for Dak Prescott is even more clear – you might want to think about knocking a bit off your price because being a Cowboy means you’ll make more money elsewhere. 

Actually, that’s not even subtext. Stephen Jones comes right out and says it: “We’re trying to talk all of these guys into—Hey, let’s not take every last penny here. That’s why the deals can’t get done right away. We’re trying to convince the Daks and Amaris and Zekes that hey, we need to spread the money around. This is a distribution dilemma here.”

A distribution dilemma. Just so we’re clear, this is the same Stephen Jones who’s also quoted in the article as saying: “Whether it’s misplaced or not, I know this: We haven’t won a Super Bowl in 23 years, which just kills me, and it kills Jerry just as much. But you know, we’re still the most valuable brand, most valuable team in sports. Five and a half billion. No. 1. Above all the soccer teams, the Yankees. And being involved with that is valuable since a lot of these guys talk about themselves in terms of their brand.”

So to recap: the Cowboys are worth 5 and a half bill, more than any other sports franchise, but there’s a distribution dilemma. 

Right. There’s a dilemma, all right. The dilemma is why are you asking guys to take less than market value when you’re bragging about how much your worth?

That’s why the salary cap is a joke. Because a team that claims to be worth 5.5 bill is claiming they don’t have the money to pay market value for their players. They’re worth 5.5 bill and telling the players “hey, let’s not take every last penny here.”

If there really is a “distribution dilemma” when it comes to paying the Daks and Amari’s and Zekes, that’s not a Dak problem, that’s a Jones problem. Because they knew they were going to have to pay Amari when they traded for him. 

Dak Prescott isn’t the lucky guy in this situation, the Cowboys are the lucky ones. He fell to them in the fourth round. Jerry Jones, QB guru that he is, wanted to take Johnny Manziel two years earlier. How would that have worked out. 

So if you’re worth 5.5 bill, why should Dak take a penny off his asking price?

And I know that the Jones family and Cowboys homers would say that Dak should take less money because that means that he can stay as a Cowboy and being the Cowboys quarterback means endorsements and fame. That being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys is a privilege.

And to that I say, pppssssstt please.  

Do you think Jerry or Stephen Jones tells potential sponsors or advertisers, yeah, we’ll give you a reduced rate because we’re worth 5.5 bill and making plenty of money in other spots? Hell no.

They know that the Cowboys are a premium brand and anyone who wants to be associated with it is going to pay premium money. 

Same should go for Dak. Being the Dallas Cowboys quarterback has value. Being the Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl quarterback who’s led them to the playoffs more times than they’d been in the previous six years, has even more value.  Value to the team.

Nobody was talking about the value of being a Cowboys quarterback when those Cowboys quarterbacks were Chad Hutchinson and Quincy Carter. There wasn’t a ton of buzz to being a Cowboys QB when Jon Kitna was roaming the sideline or 41-year old Vinny Testeverde was slinging it.  

That perk of being a Cowboy rap might work on a backup who’s trying to pick between two teams and knows that playing in Dallas might mean a little extra on the side. 

But for franchise quarterback? Get out of here with that nonsense. 

As I’ve said time and time before, quarterback contracts aren’t about stats, they’re about timing. If you’re a franchise quarterback, and your contract is up, you get paid, and you’re probably getting the biggest contract around. 

And by the way, have you seen what’s happening to quarterbacks so far this season? Any play could be your last. 

Not only should Dak Prescott not give them a discount, after the last two games, his price should be going up. Because you sure as hell knows that if he stunk up the joint in those two games, everyone would be saying his price should go down. 

If the Cowboys want to claim that being a Cowboy is a privilege, they better recognize that having a good quarterback is a privilege too. And they better pay for it. Dak Prescott isn’t lucky he’s the Cowboys quarterback, the Cowboys are lucky Dak Prescott is their quarterback.