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The 2024 offseason was supposed to be "all-in" for the Dallas Cowboys in the words of owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

However, the team's moves have failed to translate that sentiment into reality thus far. The Cowboys are reportedly far apart from eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith in contract negotiations, despite Pro Football Focus assigning Smith an 88.6 pass-blocking grade -- the highest in the entire league among offensive linemen to play 100 or more snaps.

To be fair to Dallas, Jones and the front office can't really make many key decisions about the status of their 2024 roster without confirmation of what 2023 MVP runner-up quarterback Dak Prescott's contract is going to pay out. He enters the final season of his four-year, $160 million contract with a $59.5 million cap hit plus a no-trade and no-tag clause. Prescott possesses all of the leverage after leading the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns last season, becoming the first Cowboys quarterback to lead the league in that metric outright.

Dak Prescott
DAL • QB • #4
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Jones insinuated he would like the quarterback's camp to budge on their current demands during his media availability Friday night in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"We don't need to, but we can if everybody wants to solve it," Jones said of extending Prescott, per The Athletic. "If you can't, what we have in place works. And so obviously, if you do it one way ... you'll be working through some of the other areas on the team in a different way. But you can't really plan on that until you see where you are there. That's what we're doing." 

Some Cowboys fans screamed at the top of their lungs that they wanted Prescott gone after the team's 48-32 wild-card round collapse against the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers, but the alternative of what could be next for Dallas at the quarterback solution could be much, much worse. Especially since Prescott could depart without the Cowboys receiving anything in return. Still, Jones isn't worrying about life after Prescott. 

"I don't fear that," Jones said. "No, I do not. Because I have my mind on being better than we were last year. And that's where the focus would be. Every player you got has some time when his contract is up. You would walk around with the shakes if you feared it. You can't, because they all come up. They all can get hurt. They all can lose some talent. So, all of that is not fear."

He spoke about the general concept of how teams move on from players in the NFL, but it's a little different at the quarterback position for most teams. Apparently not to Jones. 

"It is my job to when somebody gets hurt or when their career is at the end or when you don't get things negotiated, it's my job to do something else," he said. "First of all, if you really want to get it done one way, then what do you do? You compromise and do more their way. But if your decision is that is too far, it'll cost me two guys over here, then you don't do it. That's every day in my life. All we need to do is see if we're gonna try to do anything. If we're not, then we'll go another way."

Surprisingly, Jones doesn't feel like he has a hard deadline to know where things stand contractually with Prescott, even though the legal tampering period of free agency is coming around the corner on March 11.  

"Don't need to," Jones said when asked about when he needs to know about Prescott's contractual future. "We can go another way right now. But we really want to sit down and discuss it and see how we go."  

Jones' nonchalant posture toward his quarterback potentially moving on down the line appears to be a negotiation tactic at this stage since he was in fact able to acknowledge Prescott's growth. He posted his most efficient season of his career with a career-best 105.9 passer rating.

"I'm very pleased with how Dak progressed," Jones said. "I am not to the stage of saying, 'Well, I've had it. I'm fed up in any way with Dak.' What I'm encouraged by is that by all accounts and everybody around him, including him, believe that he's going to be better and is getting better. That's really a positive thing when you consider he's an [eight-year] veteran."  

Dak Prescott 2023 season


Completion Pct



Pass Yards4,516

Pass Yards/Att



Pass TD






Passer Rating



Expected Points Added/Play0.182nd

Despite Prescott's impressive numbers, Jones said Dallas can be "all-in" in 2024 even without extending him on a multi-year deal, which would allow the Cowboys to spread his cap hit across future years and pour more resources into the upcoming season. 

"Absolutely," Jones said when asked if he can be all-in without extending his quarterback. "You just have to adjust where you're going and how you're going all in."