Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has suggested he carries no regrets after ‘overpaying’ to keep his franchise quarterback Dak Prescott.
“When I bought the Cowboys, apart from a lot of other things that were being said, it was very commonly said of how idiot I was for paying what I paid for the Cowboys,” Jones said during Wednesday’s press conference. “And that’s not an exaggeration, that’s firmly there. Well, I really got screwed, I ended up with the Dallas Cowboys.
“The truth is most anything that I’ve ever been involved in that ended up being special, I overpaid for, every time, to the end. Anytime I’ve tried to get a bargain, I got just that, it was a bargain in a lot of ways and not up to standard.
“And so, the other thing, that our process of getting here from Dak’s rookie deal, I knew that Dak wanted to be here and really no place else. I knew that and I think Dak knew how good he fit here, although I can understand his apprehension. This was not a test of some sort of ‘can Dak handle it?’ or something like that, that wasn’t the case at all.”
“If anyone has ever taken advantage of me financially, I’m proud it’s the one sitting next to me on the right.”
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Having opened talks over an extension two years ago, Prescott and the Cowboys finally agreed a new four-year, $160m extension this week, including a $66m signing bonus and $126m in guaranteed money. For the record, Jones paid less to purchase the franchise in 1989.
Five months after a gruesome ankle injury, Prescott scored the long-term contract he desired in 2019 and 2020. Only Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes makes more on a per-year basis than Prescott.
“This is the right fit. Never in a million years did I imagine not being a Cowboy once I put on the Star,” Prescott said. “I’m excited to be here and never leave. This is my home, I’m not leaving and this is only the beginning.”
Prescott and the Cowboys came close to contract agreements each of the past three years. Dallas most recently applied the franchise tag on him last March 16 in a deal that was worth $31.4 million for the 2020 season.
He joked Wednesday that he contemplated running out from behind a curtain at the live press conference and jumping on the table to prove he’s healing from the Week 5 ankle injury that ended his 2020 season.
Prescott came away with a compound fracture and dislocated right ankle after a tackle by Giants safety Logan Ryan, undergoing season-ending surgery later that day.
The 27-year-old made note of thanking Alex Smith for inspiring him during his comeback after the veteran quarterback won Comeback Player of the Year with Washington last season on the back of a life-threatening leg injury. He also dismissed the idea of uncertainty over his willingness to bet on himself on win by playing on the franchise tag in 2020.
“To me, it wasn’t a gamble,” Prescott said. “So even sitting there, holding my leg or whatever on the field, trying to put it back into place, or later on being in the hospital and waking up from surgery, that’s just what God’s thrown at me.
“If you’ve known my life, if you’ve known my story, whatever circumstance that is, I’m going to take it with a smile and be thankful that God has put me in this position to overcome it, to be an example to others. So never in a million years.
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“And I have to thank, honestly, Alex Smith. Because at that moment when you’re sitting there and you have an injury like that or you come out of surgery, to see somebody who’s already done it and did it actually in worse circumstances, that allowed my mind just to go to straight, ‘Hey, I can do this. I’m going to beat this. It’s just a matter of time.
“What are the doctors saying? But I’m going to beat this.’ So I have to thank Alex for somebody who’s overcome that and won Comeback Player of the Year, and congrats to him.
Prescott said he’ll “be ready when it matters” for the 2021 regular season and is doing everything doctors ask, adding that his motivation is all about being the best quarterback in the NFL and winning the Lombardi Trophy – not beating Jones in contract tug of wars.
He added that he had asked his girlfriend and brother to keep him honest if even “one thing” changes about him after his massive paychecks hit the account.
“I’ve never played this game for money,” Prescott explained. “Money has never been a motivation. I’m intrinsically motivated.”
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