Michael Irvin says Cowboys 'stole four years' from Dak Prescott, owe him 'back pay' in next contract

Contract negotiations between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys continue to loom over the NFL offseason, with the quarterback in line for a massive contract extension.

The two sides reportedly aren’t too far apart in negotiations, as the main point of contention is that the team wants a five-year deal and Prescott wants a four-year deal so he can hit free agency again when he’s 30. Either way, Prescott is getting paid.

One Cowboys great thinks Prescott deserves that and more.

Michael Irvin: Dak Prescott deserves the money

During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show earlier this week, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin was asked if Prescott should get upwards of $35 million per year.

His response, via The Dallas Morning News:

“Dak has done everything and he has won. He has won a lot of football games in his first four years. So to say he doesn’t deserve the money isn’t totally correct. He does deserve the money. That’s the market, and he’s a starting, winning quarterback in the NFL. It’s just a matter of getting it done. And I think they’ll get it done.

“It’s business. Dak wants every penny and Jerry [Jones] wants to try to save every penny. But usually those kinds of deals, I always tell people, will get done as soon as the slipper falls of Cinderella, 12:01, something will get done. It’ll come in and Dak will be — for a moment — the highest-paid quarterback before Pat Mahomes gets his ...

“Dak has been not great, but perfect. Not necessarily in wins and losses, of course. But I’m talking about just the person that he’s been. The kind of investment you want to make, the kind of guy you say, ‘Yeah, we hit it with this guy. We got him in the fourth round.’ You stole four years, so whatever he gets he deserves because you still owe him back pay.”

Dak Prescott has a lot of money coming his way. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
Dak Prescott has a lot of money coming his way. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

That last sentence basically boils down the dynamics behind so many contentious contract negotiations as a rookie contract nears its end.

Thanks to the salary restrictions imposed on recently drafted players by the NFL, there is no value in greater than a good or great quarterback on a rookie deal (see: last season’s Super Bowl champions). The Cowboys have benefited mightily from the four-year, $2.7 million contract that Prescott was essentially forced to sign after the team drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft.

However, once that rookie deal is up, the quarterback will rightfully expect the money usually received by good-to-great quarterbacks. Teams don’t always handle that transition well.

That might not be entirely the case right now with Prescott’s contract talks, as the debate is more about length of the contract than salary. Still, Prescott is well aware he’ll get paid if he ever hits free agency, and that knowledge is a mighty fine tool in negotiations.

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