The Dallas Cowboys obtained their quarterback position agreeing to sign Andy Dalton. But what message does he send to starter Dak Prescott?
The Dallas Cowboys know what they are doing in contract negotiations. Even fans who hate owner and CEO Jerry Jones have to admit he has a brilliant entrepreneurial spirit. The fact that Jones kept the Cowboys so relevant despite not having won a Super Bowl for more than 24 years is proof of that.
So when the Cowboys agreed to sign the former Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton at a one year agreement on Saturday evening, the Dallas brass knew exactly what kind of message this decision would send to starter Dak Prescott. He warns the fifth-year smuggler.
For months, Prescott officials and the Cowboys have been stuck in negotiating a long-term extension for the former fourth round. Dak’s rookie contract expired late last year, which led Dallas to use its exclusive franchise label to keep its services for another season in March.
The stumbling block in these negotiations, according to those familiar with these discussions via USA TODAY Sports, was the duration of the contract. The Cowboys would like a longer contract than that of Prescott and his representatives. And both sides have until July 15 to chop it.
In public, Dalton’s signature is announced by Cowboys as just a way to ensure quality backup with boot experience in a position of need. And it’s. The depth chart behind Prescott includes Cooper Rush, Clayton Thorson and rookie Ben DiNucci. This trio has three combined regular season experience attempts.
But you can’t convince me that the Cowboys ignored the underlying implications of such a prestigious signing. Let’s not forget, after all, it’s America’s Team. The Cowboys were fully aware of the kind of massive media storm they were going to unleash with such news.
And when it comes to contract negotiations, this savvy, business-minded group is certainly not asleep at the wheel. Whether the Cowboys admit it publicly or not, they knew the message it would send to Prescott and his representatives. This is case 101.
You have a franchise quarterback in Prescott who is in the midst of contract negotiations and could possibly refuse to participate in OTAs, training camp and possibly even miss regular season games. You also have a new head coach at Mike McCarthy who is trying to hire new coaching staff and new philosophies while facing his first season in Dallas with an offseason program (and potentially more) delayed by a pandemic world.
And while it is unclear whether Prescott will be present at some point during the off-season, McCarthy now knows that he will have a Pro Bowler three times in Dalton under the center, no matter what. It is easy to read between the lines here.
Selection in the second round of TCU in 2011, Dalton has played the last nine seasons in Cincinnati. He started in an impressive 133 NFL games. The 32-year-old threw 3,494 yards, 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 13 games last season. Dalton has also been sacked 37 times.
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In a nutshell, what does Andy Dalton’s signature offer to the Dallas Cowboys in their ongoing negotiations with Dak Prescott? Affecting. While Dalton’s signature certainly provides Cowboys with assurance of their most vital position, the byproduct is undoubtedly a clear message delivered straight to Prescott’s door.