Though indirect, the mindset helps Jones handle the team's salary-cap issues. Besides negotiating a multi-year agreement to lower quarterback Dak Prescott's $59.4 million cap hit, Parsons is eligible for his second contract. Jones can try (he may fail) to convince Parsons to take less to create salary room for roster gaps.
Parsons should attempt to obtain everything. He's the team's and league's finest defender. With just so many cap dollars, Jones may try to convince Parsons to accept less so the team can spend more elsewhere, especially with receiver CeeDee Lamb approaching his fifth-year option following his greatest season.
The team lowballed Prescott early in his deal, which contributed to the issue. They forced him to fulfill his fourth-round rookie contract and gave him the franchise tag before paying up in a contract that had them over a barrel. Since Prescott and Lamb had to wait, they may attempt to encourage Parsons to wait until after his fourth season.
How to balance is up to Parsons. He'll get an offer. If he declines, the can will be kicked another year. If he stays healthy and effective in a position that can rip a body up early, his price will rise.
The cap will keep rising, which is wonderful. And up. Parsons should be an NFL top-paid defensive player.
With two more years of his rookie deal and the franchise tag, the Cowboys may force him to choose between a good-not-great contract and $2.9 million in 2024 and his fifth-year option in 2025, with the franchise tag threat/promise hovering over 2026.
By expressing his opinions on how the Cowboys should get to where he wants them to go, he makes it harder to avoid the team engineering, in subtle but tangible ways,
the perception that his desire to get what he deserves keeps the team from getting the talent it needs to advance beyond the divisional round for the first time since four years before Parsons was born.
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