“The Facts Are There’s No Free Lunch” | Jerry Jones Blames Quarterback Dak Prescott’s Deal For Cowboys’ Roster Holes Entering NFL Season

With the quarterback market in the NFL booming yearly, the goal of all NFL teams is to capitalize while their signal-callers are on those cap-friendly rookie deals.

When those deals end, it’s usually time pay a QB the big money, and that’s when things get dicey for teams and their salary cap decisions.

That quarterback rookie deal is a godsend when you consider the going rate for franchise quarterbacks in today’s NFL. Just look around the league and you’ll see fully guaranteed deals like the one the Cleveland Browns signed Deshaun Watson to. And the mega deal Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray received a few weeks ago.

But they aren’t the only QBs who cashed in on a big bag. In March 2021, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million extension. In an interview last week with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan, Jones talked about a host of things, including rising salaries as they pertain to even his own quarterback. 

“The more you pay a quarterback, the teams pay the big ticket on the quarterback, they have to sacrifice other places. The facts are there’s no free lunch. Every dollar you spend on a player is a dollar you can’t spend someplace else.”



Jones is reiterating this notion because once the Cowboys gave Prescott his four-year, $160 million extension, with $126 million guaranteed, the thought is that giving him that much money hindered Dallas’ overall ability to construct a roster.

Gone are the days of that $450K per season rookie deal that afforded the team the financial flexibility to improve other areas. As a result of Dak’s contract, the team traded star wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Browns. They also let stalwart offensive tackle La’el Collins leave via free agency. The team also got outbid by the Denver Broncos for edge rusher Randy Gregory in a move that once again showed the team being hampered by Prescott’s contract.

Jones Had Dak On Major Discount: Said He Overpaid For Prescott At Time Of Deal

Prescott was a huge bargain for the Cowboys as a fourth-round pick. And although he’s being paid handsomely, he still ranks behind Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Derek Carr in salary.

His average annual value is the same as reigning Super Bowl-winning quarterback Matthew Stafford. And based on Prescott’s performance he’s earned that type of payday.

But during the press conference to announce the new deal, Jerry announced that he felt he was being taken advantage of financially by his quarterback.

If anyone has ever taken advantage of me financially, I’m proud it’s the one next to me,” Jerry said at the time. 

“The truth is most anything that I’ve ever been involved in with that ended up being special, I’ve 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.”

That comment was made with Dak sitting right next to Jones and it didn’t draw the comical reaction that Jones expected. Jerry basically told his starting quarterback, who holds a 52-32 career record, that he overpaid for him. The fact that Dak hasn’t had much playoff success has made some fans agree with Jones. 

Jones Calls Himself A Risk-Taker: Is He Insinuating Prescott’s Deal Was A Risk?

Jones called himself a risk-taker, but most billionaires don’t become that successful without taking risks.

“No one would deny that I’m a risk-taker. No one. I take risk and I do it every day in my life. And so, there is a proper time to take some risk. We haven’t taken them and we will take them.

“I hope that some of the risk I take in the future … will result in a change from where we’ve been; and that’s not getting to the Super Bowl. But I do that every day in my life.”


The Cowboys haven’t played on Super Sunday since the 1995 season when Pro Football Hall of Famers, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders and Charle Haley led the team to victory in Super Bowl 30 with Barry Switzer as the head coach.

If they fail to reach the Super Bowl again, Jones already has a great excuse in place in the form of his Pro Bowl QB, Dak Prescott, who’s already being set up to be the scapegoat if Dallas fails to make any noise.

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