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USATSI

Less than 24 hours after Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury that ended his 2020 season, the last thing anyone should be thinking about is his contract situation. And yet, that's become a topic oddly being forced forward by some who feel Prescott should've accepted the five-year deal the Dallas Cowboys put in front of him in 2020. The two-time Pro Bowler instead stood firm on a four-year commitment, and was forced to play under a $31.4 million franchise tag when the two sides couldn't strike a deal -- despite a last-minute attempt on July 15. 

The two sides were frustrated but never discouraged, and Prescott made it clear he plans to be with the Cowboys for the rest of his career. That's a sentiment long shared by Jerry and Stephen Jones, and his surgically repaired ankle won't create a hitch in the negotiations. The plan remains on course for Dallas to again attempt to sign Prescott to a long-term deal in 2021, and to tag him a second time if the two sides need added time to negotiate, which means Prescott's return to the field next season will be for the Cowboys.

When asked directly is there was any reason to believe otherwise, Stephen Jones nearly shook his head right off of his shoulders.

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Absolutely not," he told 105.3FM The Fan. "He's our future. He's special. If anyone can overcome anything, it would be Dak. 

"It's something that our doctors feel good that he'll overcome and come back better than ever."

The Joneses spoke with Prescott immediately following the injury, and their message to him was what it's been for a long time now: they can't see themselves without him on the roster. 

"Obviously our prayers are with him," said Stephen Jones. "How much we believe in him, how much we're going to miss him, but at the same time know that he's going to come back better, stronger, better than ever. He's the face of our franchise and to have him and know that he'll overcome this. He's a driven, special man."

Jones evoked confidence recently in his belief a deal with get done on Prescott eventually and, to that end, the Cowboys have already begun reworking cap space to have millions in rollover money to help achieve that goal. The recovery on Prescott's injury -- a compound fracture with dislocation -- is roughly 4-6 months, which gives him plenty of time to recover and ramp up for Week 1 of the 2021 season. 

And by hook or by crook, the Cowboys aren't going to let it be with another team.