DMN-COWBOYS

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (left) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones shake hands following a March 10 press conference at The Star in Frisco. Dak spoke about his freshly signed 4-year, $160 million contract with the team.

FRISCO — Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott, among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, appear to be happy.

And to have power.

Deshaun Watson (Houston) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) want to play for new teams, irked by what they perceive as a lack of respect from their front offices. Russell Wilson reportedly has expressed dismay with the Seattle front office. Jared Goff was shipped from the LA Rams to Detroit.

Kirk Cousins (Minnesota) heard criticism from wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Carson Wentz was sent from Philadelphia to Indianapolis. Matt Ryan, with two years remaining on his contract and with his top receiver, Julio Jones, on the trade block, might not finish his career in Atlanta.

Mahomes played in two Super Bowls and commands the highest average salary at his position. So he’s doing all right.

That leaves us with Prescott, pleased about signing a $160 million, four-year contract and with a voice within an organization that respects him.

“I think it is dependent on the person, what they want and the obligation they feel they should have,” Prescott said regarding his voice to the front office. “I trust the people around here that have those titles and have those positions to do what they need to. And they do ask me and bring me into the loop on things when they feel like they should.”

It’s not so much that the Cowboys seek Prescott’s permission when making personnel decisions, because they don’t need it, but the respect is there so that the quarterback doesn’t get blindsided by moves.

Take the decision to draft linebacker Micah Parsons at No. 12 overall. The Cowboys didn’t call Prescott to let him know Parsons was coming off the board, but guess who knew quickly?

“Yeah, I heard from Dak,” Parsons said. “He was one of the first people to reach out. I can already tell he is a big leader.”

Players such as defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and cornerback Trevon Diggs contacted Parsons when he was drafted. The Cowboys want him to feel welcomed into a dirty business.

Prescott is at the doorway ushering everyone inside.

It’s that type of leadership, regardless whether it’s from an offensive or defensive player, that’s needed at The Star. Coaches can do only so much in the locker room because players control that area. It’s part of the reason the team invested so much into Prescott with the richest contract in franchise history.

It was difficult to convey in-person leadership last year because of the COVID-19 restrictions. With NFL teams opening back up in 2021, Prescott is leading the charge.

“It’s just been great, getting around the team, having pretty much the whole team here for OTAs, I think the whole team,” Prescott said. “It’s great. You just see all the guys that want to work, they want to get better. Obviously coming off a season like we had last year without a lot of wins and with a lot of injuries, guys are just hungry. Just to be able to come back and have the sense of urgency that we do in the locker room and on the field it’s been fun.”

The Cowboys were placed in a difficult position when the NFL Players Association asked players to bypass voluntary workouts. This was a team coming off injuries to so many key players, including Prescott who looked good moving around the pocket on his surgically repaired right ankle during OTAs, that it was decided the on-field work was needed.

“Believe it or not there wasn’t many conversations about not showing up,” Prescott said. “Coming from me and coming from the guys and a lot of leaders, I mean obviously we talked to some of the NFLPA reps just on what those meetings are about, but as far as these guys and this locker room, didn’t really have much conversations about guys not showing up to be honest with you.”

Having the players arrive at The Star pleased not only the coaches but the front office, which is seeking improvement from a dismal 6-10 finish in 2020.

This is not to say the players, especially Prescott, will do whatever the front office wants, but a solid working relationship exists. That can’t be said in other places. Just ask the people in Green Bay and Houston.

“We have a great relationship,” Prescott said. “I don’t want to ever begin to compare what’s going on here in Dallas and how we handle things to other organizations.”

Fair enough. Things are working out just fine with the face of the franchise.

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