There is no greater bargain in sports than a starting NFL quarterback on a rookie contract. That deal grows by the nth degree when that quarterback is a mid-to-late-round pick, like Dak Prescott.
"Yeah, you know at that position, it kind of is what it is," EVP Stephen Jones said Wednesday, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You kind of, when the time comes, [expect to pay him]. I know Dak is going to have a good year this year. I hope it's up there. It's going to be as he deserves. He was a fourth-round pick. No one deserves to get paid fairly more than he does."
Thus far, the Dallas Cowboys have been reaping the benefits of Prescott making chicken feed. The fourth-round pick signed a four-year contract in 2016 worth $2.7 million total -- that's less than what slot receiver Cole Beasley will make in base salary this year ($3.25 million). Prescott is slated to make $630,000 in base salary in 2018. His $725,848 cap hit is the 35th highest on the Cowboys, less than the likes of Charles Tapper ($784,470), Chaz Green ($877,234) or Joe Looney ($975,000).
Prescott is eligible for a contract extension after the 2018 season. Set to earn $720,000 in base salary in 2019, this year could be the last that the Cowboys own the luxury of paying the starting quarterback less than a backup center.
With the going rate for starting QBs soaring well past the $100 million figure, the Cowboys know they'll soon need to pay the QB piper. Given Prescott's status as a fourth-rounder, Stephen Jones is aiming for a figure that should be around second-tier money when Prescott is eligible -- perhaps closer to Jimmy Garoppolo's $137.5 million deal than Matt Ryan's $150-million whopper, or whatever astronomical figure Aaron Rodgers receives.
"I just want Dak to go out and be MVP this year of the NFL. That's what I want. Then, we'll deal with that."
Prescott has taken criticism from a portion of the Cowboys fans base for his struggles last year. A bounce-back season would help secure a financial payment that could make the fourth-round pick one of the top-paid quarterbacks by the time the 2019 Summer Blockbusters are released.