FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys have often used a catchy phrase when comes to signing players to contracts:
"Deadlines make deals."
We've seen it over the years when the Cowboys have been backed up to a certain date, whether it be the July 15 deadline to get a contact signed before the non-negotiating period ends, or even signing a player who might be holding out with the season about to start.
But sometimes, even without a deadline on the immediate horizon, the Cowboys know they need to start working on potential contracts for CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs – the top two picks of their 2020 draft class.
The Cowboys could also afford to wait until June 1 to do any more big deals, considering the $10.1 million savings for Ezekiel Elliott would hit the books.
For Lamb, who has two years remaining if the Cowboys decide to pick up his fifth-year option, he is coming off a career-season that saw him catch 107 passes and earn second-team All-Pro honors.
Diggs, who has now made two straight Pro Bowls with 17 interceptions in three years, is entering the final year of his contract. That one, might have the more pressing timetable for the Cowboys since he would technically be a free agent next March.
This week, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was discussing the draft on 105.3 "The Fan" but did get asked about the status of negotiations with both Diggs and Lamb.
"As we move forward, that'll become a bigger priority here as we move past the draft," Jones said. "We've historically signed a lot of guys during that training camp period to extensions. But guys like CeeDee Lamb and Diggs are certainly on our radar in terms of guys that we'd love to have around here for another five, six years, whatever that turns out to be."
Diggs is scheduled to count just $4.8 million on the cap this year, including $4.3 million in base salary. Just to compare, there are 41 cornerbacks in the NFL that have average salary over $5 million per season, including Jaire Alexander, Denzel Ward and Jalen Ramsey, the three current cornerbacks with an average salary over $20 million.
As for Lamb, the Cowboys have until May 3 to exercise their option for a fifth year. Lamb would receive a base salary of $17.99 million for the 2024 season, that's if the Cowboys don't reach a long-term deal with him sooner.