Cowboys are seemingly going to be stressed to pay Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott

The positive part of having good young players is obvious. The bad part is figuring out how to pay them all.

The Dallas Cowboys are going to have some tough decisions coming up, and their future free agents aren’t going to make things easy on them. Dallas just paid defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence among the largest contracts ever for a defensive player. And now onto the next order of business: Signing Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper.

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According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, that won’t be easy.

Cowboys are ‘sold’ on Dak Prescott

At the moment it seems the Cowboys are moving faster on Prescott’s deal than with Cooper, but the two are related.

Hill wrote that the Prescott deal will fall somewhere in the range of $30 million per season, and that apparently isn’t a problem.

”We are sold on Dak,” Jones said on “The Rich Eisen Show,” via Hill. “We do want to have him for the long term. We think he is worthy of investing in for the long term.”

Quarterbacks always get paid. Guys like Prescott don’t hit the open market. Whether you’re unconvinced Prescott is worth $30 million a year doesn’t really matter. He’s going to get a lot of money.

But when you pay your quarterback $30 million per season, it has an effect on the rest of the salary cap. That’s where Cooper comes in.

Amari Cooper’s salary demands ‘shockingly high’

Hill wrote that more progress is being made with Prescott than Cooper, and we got some insight into why. Hill wrote that even though the Cowboys understand the floor of his contract is $16 million per season, Cooper’s contract demands are “shockingly high.”

Cooper has leverage. The Cowboys traded a first-round pick for him in the middle of last season. Everyone knows it would be a bad look to trade a first for just a season-and-a-half of Cooper before he leaves in free agency. But what if Cooper is asking for more than $18 million per season (which would be considered “shockingly high” to a team that had planned on at least $16 million per season)? Browns receiver Odell Beckham makes $18 million per season, the most ever for a receiver. Cooper isn’t worth that, but the Cowboys won’t want to lose him.

Then there’s also the Elliott conundrum, and the issue of NFL teams not wanting to overpay running backs.

The Cowboys have plenty of star players; that’s why they’re NFC East champs. But now they have to figure out how to make them all happy.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) reportedly has "shockingly high" contract demands. (AP)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) reportedly has "shockingly high" contract demands. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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