Cowboys feet-dragging offseason now reaching one place it shouldn’t

The Dallas Cowboys are taking quite the risk in their contract negotiations with one of their star players.
Aug 20, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) and chief
Aug 20, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) and chief / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys entered the offseason with owner Jerry Jones promising to go "all-in" after watching the team get embarrassed in the Wild Card Round by the No. 7 seed Green Bay Packers. Thus far, the Cowboys have signed just one external free agent, and that was former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Realistically, the Cowboys didn't have much cap space due in part to the $55.45 million cap hit carried by quarterback Dak Prescott. This comes even after restructuring the quarterback's contract. Prescott is heading into the final year of his current deal before officially hitting free agency. There have been conflicting reports as to how the Cowboys are going to approach negotiations.

During an appearance on SportsCenter this past Saturday, ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler noted that the Cowboys are taking a "pretty passive" approach in contract negotiations with Prescott.

"I was told from a source with the team that the notion that the Cowboys don't want to keep Dak Prescott beyond 2024, when he'll be a free agent the next year, is false, that they still believe in him firmly. They want him long-term, but I would describe their pursuits at a contract extension so far as pretty passive," says Fowler, h/t Bleacher Report. "He's got a [$55 million] cap hit this year, he's got dead money next year, so he's got a lot of leverage. So this will play out eventually, but they are committed to spending money, trying to re-sign some of their guys, Dak included."

Cowboys reportedly keeping 'pretty passive' approach to Dak Prescott contract negotiations

The Cowboys are in a bit of an unenviable spot currently. It is pivotal to retain your starting quarterback, but it comes at a hefty price. Look no further than Joe Burrow, who is making $55 million per year on his new contract. So the price is only going up.

However, the Cowboys have another player they need to retain in wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who is also set to hit the open market alongside Prescott next year. The 2020 first-round pick has developed into one of the top pass catchers in the NFL, and will need to be paid as such. That price tag is only going to go up, especially whenever the Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson strike a deal to officially reset the wide receiver market.

CBS Sports senior NFL insider Josina Anderson shut down a report that the Cowboys and Prescott had a "mutual understanding" about the current contract situation with no offers being made. Anderson said that the team does intend to re-sign Prescott, with the potential to "consummate a deal" this year.

Prescott is coming off a strong year for the Cowboys, in which he finished second behind Lamar Jackson in NFL MVP voting. Prescott threw for 4,516 yards, 36 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while completing 69.5 percent of his passes.

This may very well be a lengthy contract negotiation between the Cowboys and Prescott. We'll see if the two sides eventually come to an agreement, or if the quarterback will hit the open market for the first time in his career.