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FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones was adamant back on April 23, the Tuesday prior to the 2024 NFL Draft, contract "talks" aren't the correct gauge to measure how extension negotiations are going with any player, particularly his quarterback Dak Prescott -- the 2023 NFL passing touchdowns leader (36). 

Prescott, who turns 31 on July 29, enters the final season of his four-year, $160 million contract that includes a no-franchise tag clause and a no-trade clause, which puts a ticking clock on the Cowboys front office to get their quarterback re-signed before the start of the 2024 season. If they don't, it's highly likely Prescott will test the 2025 free agency market as an unrestricted free agent. 

"I first of all, respect how Dak handles his business, period, as much as any player or any person that I've been associated with. I think that we should realize that talks, quote "talks" don't necessarily, is not a barometer, of whether you're close to a deal, at all," Jones said on April 23. ... "To be very candid, this is pro football. It has to do with the allocation of your resources, which happens to be cap space."  

The Cowboys' quarterback himself provided an update on Wednesday night about how the talks have been going after an at-bat at Dallas' 11th annual Reliant Home Run Derby, in which all of the proceeds were donated to the Salvation Army. 

"Not necessarily, obviously still conversations," Prescott said when asked if there was any news to share about contract discussions between himself and Dallas. "Aware of what Jerry said, and everything he said is dead on. Communication has been back and forth."

One thing Jones made clear just over a week ago is that he wants Prescott to remain on his team long term. 

"We want Dak Prescott. That's that," Jones said. "There's no question that Mike's [McCarthy] focus, not that he didn't have focus, but how he [Prescott] improved last year. I give Mike a lot of credit for that. That improvement demonstrated to me there's more as far as ultimately winning what we're trying to do here. ... We think that there's room for growth. He is absolutely unsurpassed as what he is as an individual with his work ethic, what he brings with his leadership and everything about what you would think about as a quarterback. So he's got that. He's had a few hits, but everybody has that, too ... This wouldn't even be my response if we were in a different place relative to the cap. ... That's our challenge and to make it work out. Dak as the quarterback Cowboys, I don't even have a blink on that one."  

That appreciation of his Cowboys contribution fires Prescott up, but he maintains the direction of the negotiations doesn't have an affect on how he handles each day. 

"It's exciting," Prescott said when asked how he feels seeing Jones be unequivocal about his future with the Cowboys. "I've talked about how this is where I want to be, but at the end of the day, my focus is strictly on helping my team. As simple as that. I don't get caught up in the talks. You guys know that it's been years of it. So I'm just focused on helping this team right now, be the best I can and get better."