ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys chief operating officer and executive vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones was on hand at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday morning to announce the return of the Professional Bull Riding (PBR) World Finals to Arlington in 2024, and some buzz around the team going into the summer was definitely hot.
While it hasn't been a pressing issue by any means to this point, contract extension talks around Trevon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons and Dak Prescott have been slowly starting to generate some interest.
"That group, we feel really good about," Jones said on the topic of re-signing each long-term. "I feel like as we move forward, it'll all be about timing, but we feel good that we can work within the parameters of the cap and make those types of things happen."
With there still being time to get deals done – especially aside from Diggs who is the only one of the four entering the final year of a deal – there isn't a ton of urgency about rushing into extensions. Instead, Jones is letting time tell with each.
"I don't know that we'll do all of them [before the season]," Jones said. "We'll work on all of the above, but we'll see how this thing plays out. You can't dictate when things happen. With timing, it takes two sides and for them to want to sign up, they have to be happy with where it is and vice-versa. [But] I wouldn't say just because we don't get it done by the start of the season doesn't mean we're not ultimately going to sign them."
The market for all of the positions involved have continued to skyrocket with each new deal that gets signed around the league, but Jones is confident in the path to signing each to deals that work for both sides.
"It's not daunting," he said. "I think it's doable, it's just part of managing the football team and part of managing the salary cap. I think it's helpful to know what the situation is gonna look like. Barring something unforeseen, things are on a pattern to where you can get a good feel, in general, for what things should look like."
Even with Dak Prescott and the exploding quarterback contracts that have been signed with talents such as Jalen Hurts and an even bigger number expected with Joe Burrow, Jones says the hard part of the quarterback negotiations are in the past.
"It's part of the business we're in and the changing market," he said. "We're already at a big number with Dak so the really daunting part comes when you move him from a rookie contract to the type of money quarterbacks are making."
Regardless, signing each of the four to long-term deals will have to cause some sacrifice in other areas, but Jones feels comfortable with how the team has drafted and how it continues to develop for young talent to step in.
"We have to continue to do well in the draft to make things like that happen, we have to continue to have guys who step up to play," he said. "Along the way, if we want to do those guys, then we'll have to make tough decisions in other spots. Hopefully you've got good young talent to facilitate that."
Trevon Diggs is entering the last season of his rookie deal while CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons each have two seasons left on their respective contract with a potential third team-option year available for Parsons in 2025. Prescott has four years left on his second contract with a potential option-out after the 2023 season.