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20 Questions: Next player to sign long-term deal?


(Editor's Note: In the upcoming weeks before the start of training camp, the staff of is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into the 2024 season. Today, the staff writers begin the series, discussing the ongoing contract negotiations and which player will be the next to sign.)

20) Who's the Next to Sign Long-Term Deal

Patrik Walker: I honestly don't see how it won't be CeeDee Lamb, to be honest. This is obviously just my opinion on the matter, but it's also rooted in reading both the writing on the wall and the tea leaves on the table in front of it. There hasn't been much traction yet toward a deal on Dak Prescott and Micah Parsons has outright said he's content to wait his turn, which likely means that's a matter for 2025. Also, Lamb is currently holding out and the Cowboys would prefer to not begin one of their most pivotal training camps ever without one of the best receivers in franchise history, who is still only 25 years old, by the way. And with Justin Jefferson having now made the numbers clear in the WR market, I feel Lamb's deal can and will probably land anyday now.

Kurt Daniels: It would be nice if someone signed, right? At this point I'd have to go with CeeDee Lamb. Micah Parsons is a problem for down the road. A very large problem, mind you, but he's on the back burner for now. Lamb, though, could seemingly be signed any day as the market has already been set with the Justin Jefferson deal. Perhaps the negotiation issue is if Lamb comes in just over that benchmark or a bit under, but surely they're not that far apart in negotiations. Of course, the real concern is Dak Prescott. Likewise, the Joe Burrows/Trevor Lawrence deals seem to have a set a market price that the Cowboys will likely have to top with Prescott, so what's the hold up? Are they that unsure about a player who was second in MVP voting last year? Is Prescott playing hardball despite his "don't play for money" comment? Is the team simply waiting to get a good look at Trey Lance in the preseason, which seems more and more believable? Or do they need Lamb to sign so they know how much cap space (or little of it) they have to work with to get Prescott's contract done? One of these dominoes has to fall eventually. And hopefully sooner rather than later.

Mickey Spagnola: By process of elimination, next to sign likely becomes CeeDee Lamb. Unless Micah Parsons wants to take lesser money to sign a long-term deal earlier to get his money now and the same goes for Dak Prescott, next up most likely will be CeeDee Lamb. But these guys should not test playing a game of contract roulette with the Cowboys since they are in no cap position to cave in to pay top positional dollar. As for CeeDee, who has been withholding services during the offseason, the Cowboys are likely waiting to hear what type of deal his side is expecting. Let's not assume just because Jordan Jefferson signed an extension averaging $35 million a year with the Vikings that Lamb will settle for that. Probably wants his contract to at least look like more. But, when reading the fine print, on Jefferson's contract, the practical money extension comes to $31.25 million a year and bet the Cowboys would do that today. Plus, does Lamb really want to play the final contract year on his $17.99 million fifth-year option, betting on his health, then taking the chance of being franchised the next season for a projected $24.7 million? That totals $42.7 million over two years ($21.35 million average) when that two-year total could become his signing bonus today on a long-term deal?

Nick Eatman: My answer is CeeDee Lamb. I would imagine it's no different than anyone else. But we had the same question last year and I actually answered Terence Steele. The right answer would've been Diggs, but Steele and Hooker weren't far behind. My point is that could be anyone willing to do a deal. I'm ready for the curveball at any time, but I still think it's going to be CeeDee and I think it's done before we leave for camp.

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