Trevor Lawrence’s Deal Didn’t Screw Cowboys In Dak Prescott Talks

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
NFL Analysis Network

The popular belief is that Trevor Lawrence’s contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars was the death knell for the Dallas Cowboys in their negotiations with Dak Prescott.

I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

Lawrence signed a five-year, $275 million deal with the Jaguars on Thursday, tying him with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow as the highest-paid player in the NFL.

He will be earning $55 million annually, which puts him right in the neighborhood of what Prescott had reportedly been asking for.

Prescott is rumored to want $60 million per year (you know, even though he apparently doesn’t play the game for money), and thus far, the Cowboys have been reluctant to give it to him.

The soon-to-be-31-year-old is entering the final year of his deal and has reached a stalemate in contract talks with Dallas. It hasn’t stopped him from participating in offseason workouts, but it could very well create a sticky situation for the Cowboys this coming season.

Trevor Lawrence’s Deal Doesn’t Necessarily Help Dak Prescott

I keep seeing people saying how Lawrence’s deal is a big positive for Prescott and a major blow to the Cowboys, but I have not reached the same conclusion.

Lawrence did not reset the quarterback market. He received the same exact deal Burrow got last September. If anything, it was actually surprising that Lawrence didn’t get more because, typically, the highest-paid player at any position in the NFL is frequently the next one.

Is Lawrence better than Burrow? No, but again, a lot of time has passed since Burrow signed his deal. Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff signed for $53 million per year last month. So, thus far, no one has topped Burrow.

What makes everyone so confident that Prescott will?

I do think that Prescott is better than Lawrence. At the very least, he is more proven. He has been in the league for eight years and has made three Pro Bowls. He has been to the playoffs five times. He led the league in touchdown passes while finishing second in MVP voting last season.

Lawrence has really only had one very good year, and that came in 2022. He actually regressed this past season. Still, he is a former No. 1 overall pick and is just 24 years old, so the Jaguars are largely paying him based on his potential.

Is there a chance that Prescott lands $60 million annually? Of course, but Lawrence’s pact with Jacksonville doesn’t suddenly guarantee that the Cowboys will have to up the ante.

Yes, Prescott has leverage. After all, where else is Dallas going to turn for a quarterback? Prescott may not be Tom Brady, but he is still very good. He is arguably a top-10 quarterback in football, and he regularly has the Cowboys in contention. But you know what? Lawrence had leverage, too, and he wasn’t able to surpass Burrow’s average annual value.

Will Dak Prescott Hamstring the Cowboys?

Taking all of that into consideration, we must ask ourselves: how much does Prescott actually care about winning? Because if he does, he won’t push to top Burrow and Lawrence. He will look and see that Dallas still needs to pay wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and edge rusher Micah Parsons. And even then, the Cowboys will still require more pieces in order to reach the next level.

Prescott has already made big money. This is the last year of a four-year, $160 million deal he signed a few offseasons ago. Does he really need to become the NFL’s highest-paid player?

These are all things that need to be considered when figuring Prescott’s next contract. There is a human element here, and we can’t entirely discount that from Prescott’s end. Maybe Jerry Jones will offer him $55 million annually and he’ll accept it? If he truly wants to win a Super Bowl in Dallas, he will.

But maybe Prescott really just wants to aim for the top in terms of money. Perhaps his primary goal at the current point in time is to get paid more than Burrow and Lawrence. But you know what? Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will happen. The Cowboys may play hardball and say, “Joe Burrow has been to a Super Bowl. You haven’t been past the Divisional Round.” Other teams may bring up the same point if Prescott its free agency next March.

Everyone is saying Dallas screwed this up, but did it really?

We’ll see what becomes of Prescott in the coming weeks and months, but know this: just because Trevor Lawrence equaled Burrow does not mean Dak Prescott can now rub his mitts together. If anything, it may have actually made things more difficult for him.

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