Why the Dallas Cowboys may be inclined to sign WR CeeDee Lamb before QB Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys definitely want to sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term contract extension and keep him as the team’s starting quarterback. Vice president Stephen Jones confirmed that at the NFL Combine this week.

Despite Prescott’s $59 million cap hit for 2024 that has them seemingly pressed against salary cap, don’t be surprised if receiver CeeDee Lamb is the first at the table to get a deal done on an extension.

There is a thought that it could be more advantageous to wait on Prescott deal. The team has provisions in Prescott’s contract to lower his number.

Prescott will be the Cowboys quarterback in 2024 no matter what.

And Lamb is locked into to return in 2024 as the Cowboys have already committed to keeping him on the fifth-year option of $19.7 million in 2024. However, there is little chance he plays on that number.

After a 2023 season, in which Lamb led the NFL in receptions in reception and yards for scrimmage, while setting team records for catches and yards in a season, the time to strike is now.

It’s unlikely that Lamb shows up to play for $19.7 million, which is far below value for the top receivers in the NFL.

Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill leads the way with an annual average salary of $30 million per season, followed by Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams at $28 million and Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp at $26.7 million.

Adams has the biggest deal in terms of value at $140 million over five years. And Kupp leads the way with $75 million in guaranteed money.

More importantly, Lamb won’t need to go to Cabo like Ezekiel Elliott did to motivate the Cowboys to get a deal done.

This is something they unabashedly want to do.

“It’s always great to have players that you want to sign to a second contract,” Stephen Jones said. “Certainly, he fits in that in spades in terms of a guy that we want to have around here for years to come. We’ve had a lot of players over the years that when they’re available for a second contract we want them but you got to fit everybody in under a salary cap. That makes it certainly a challenge. But certainly CeeDee is one where we’re going to figure out how to make it work.”

It’s also in the best interest of the Cowboys to get a deal done sooner than later and set the market rather than have the market be reset for them.

That should be a lesson learned from the Prescott negotiations when the Cowboys mistakenly waited on and allowed the market to jump.

With Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson in line to get a top of market deal this offseason and with Cincinnati Bengals Jamar Chase waiting to reset the market himself shortly there after, the Cowboys need to get Lamb done sooner rather than later.

What’s clear is that it’s something they want to do.