It has been a good week for Dak Prescott.
On Monday, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback secured a new $160 million contract that includes $126 million in guaranteed money, $66 million due the moment he signed.
On Wednesday, he took a victory lap alongside the man who signs those checks — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Prescott and Jones met with media to discuss the new deal that keeps Prescott in Dallas for the next four years, a contract Jones is counting on to reap dividends in the win column.
"Most anything that I've ever been involved in that ended up being special, I overpaid for," Jones told reporters. "Every time."
That's a reference to his $140 million purchase of the Cowboys, which he most certainly didn't overpay for. Paid in full, Prescott's contract will exceed that price by $20 million, a sign of how good that investment was.
Will investment in Prescott pay off on the field?
Jones' statement made clear the expectations of the deal, as if they weren't obvious. He's planning for big things in the newly extended Prescott era — bigger than the two playoff appearances and one playoff win the Cowboys have since drafting Prescott in 2016.
But Jones is confident.
“It’s not a dicey bet at all," Jones continued. "But it’s going to take all of us.”
Dak: Don't tell me I gambled
As for the gambling allusions, Prescott is not here for it. He says he has heard the chatter that he gambled (and won) by turning down earlier offers reportedly worth $33 million annually before securing Monday's deal worth $40 million per year.
"I’m insulted when people say I gambled," Prescott said. "You get out what you put in."
So Prescott is confident. Jones is confident. What's next is finding out if that confidence plays out on the field. The first step in that direction concerns Prescott's health. He's coming off a brutal compound fracture of his right ankle that required multiple surgeries and knocked him out of last season after Week 5.
That was in October. Nearly five months removed from the injury, Prescott walked onto the stage for his news conference Wednesday.
How is Prescott's health now?
"I thought about jogging out here and jumping up on the stage, but I didn't think y'all would be ready for that," Prescott said. "I'm healthy. ... I'll be ready when it matters, more than healthy and better than I was before."
There's that confidence again.
Prescott thanked a former division rival for helping him get through the worst of his injury. Ex-Washington quarterback Alex Smith famously suffered a devastating leg injury that cost him more than a full season and came with a life-threatening infection. Prescott credited Smith's return to the football field as motivation to keep moving forward in his own recovery.
“I have to thank Alex Smith," Prescott said. "At that moment when you’re sitting there and you have an injury like that. ... To see somebody who has already done it and did it actually in worse circumstances, that allowed my mind to go, ‘I can do this.'"
There was concern for Prescott when he suffered the injury that it would cost him in negotiations. When the Cowboys finished 4-7 without him, that narrative flipped. Monday's deal indicates that it may indeed have given him leverage. At worst, it certainly didn't hurt Prescott in negotiations.
The hard part of his recovery appears to be over. Now comes the difficult task of living up to his deal.
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