FRISCO, Texas – After multiple years of speculation, debate, and uncertainty, Dak Prescott is officially signed to a multi-year deal with the Cowboys.
On Wednesday, Prescott, Jerry Jones, and Stephen Jones held a press conference to discuss the deal. DallasCowboys.com will be breaking down the contract and its implications for the next few days and weeks, but below are some quick highlights from Wednesday's press conference.
Early in the press conference Jerry Jones acknowledged the "conversation" that had formed over the last two years during the contract negotiations among fans and media. He admitted that the Cowboys played a part in that "conversation taking on a life of its own," but he assured reporters that the decision was made with full confidence. "Don't confuse that with how right we think this is," Jones said.
Jones went on to say that most everything special that he had been involved with had taken time to accomplish. He claimed that he thought they had figured out how to approach the situation before COVID-19 brought uncertainty to the team and league. "I'm going to blame a little bit of that ambiguity [on COVID-19]."
The size and length of the contract suggested to some that Prescott "won" those negotiations with the Cowboys. Jones had a wry response to such thinking. "If anyone has ever taken advantage of me financially, I'm proud it's the one next to me," he said with a smile.
For his part, Prescott said that when he first put a star on his helmet, he believed he would never wear another jersey. He claims he maintained that confidence throughout the last two years. "There was never a doubt in my mind that I would be a Cowboy for life," Prescott said.
As far as Prescott's health, he certainly had the confidence of someone whose recovery from ankle surgery has gone well. He walked into the press conference with a suit on and no crutches. "I'm healthy," Prescott said. "I have followed the doctor's orders the whole time. I'm getting close. I'll be ready when it matters."
Additionally, Prescott thanked former Washington quarterback Alex Smith for giving him inspiration for recovering from an even more significant injury (Smith broke his leg in two separate places in 2018) and winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Once Prescott saw Smith return with confidence despite a horrific injury, he knew he could just trust his own doctors to get him back on the field.
Prescott admitted that, although he enjoys a physical style of play, he knows that he has to be smarter about when he is putting his body at risk. "The best ability is durability," he said.
Prescott also took issue with people saying that he "bet on himself." To him, the results came based on what he accomplished and what he seeked to achieve. "I'm insulted when people say I gambled on myself. You get you what you put in."
The Prescott deal will take up the single most significant portion of the team's salary cap, but Jerry Jones assured reporters that the defense would be addressed in free agency. "There's [pie] left," Jones said, referring to the remaining salary cap that the team can use in the offseason.
Jones also made clear that he had two expectations for the following season: The team will travel to Oxnard, California for training camp and AT&T Stadium will be at full capacity for regular season games. He clarified that both will be done safely. "We've gotten better in the NFL at putting on a show with safety in mind."
A reporter asked if the Cowboys are the best team in the NFC East. Prescott: "Yes." Stephen Jones: "Absolutely." Prescott went on to say the goal was to have a parade in Dallas.