Dak Prescott is playing the 2020 season under the franchise tag, and he's not bringing the business into the locker room.
His talks with the Cowboys on a long-term deal subsided just before the team reported to camp, with both sides essentially accepting the work on a long-term deal would resume after the season. For Prescott, that fits his style just fine.
"I'm not a guy that looks at my future, to be honest. I really don't," Prescott said, via the Dallas Morning News' Michael Gehlken. "I can't look at tomorrow without taking care of today, and that's just the way I've been my whole life."
Such an approach has worked for Prescott to this point. The former fourth-round pick who didn't have much of a shot of seeing a regular-season field found himself as Dallas' starter in Week 1 of 2016, taking care of each individual day without having a thought about the next because it truly wasn't guaranteed.
He's since become a franchise signal-caller for a club that essentially stumbled into identifying its replacement for Tony Romo.
Dallas is aware of its good fortune, but also of its current landscape in which it is operating. It's not exactly the best time to commit a massive amount of money to one player, even if it is your most important player.
"The contract negotiations, I don't even want to be glib or trite when I say that's a part of professional sports, sitting down talking about the money, that's a part of that," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday. "Dak is outstanding, he's probably one of the top people that I've been around for his age and cumulative experience, he's one of the top people I've been around as far as being aware and understanding. I've never heard or said anything that I didn't think Dak had necessarily weighed or heard before. We think he's outstanding, we think he's our quarterback of the future, we just couldn't get together at this particular time.
"I think it's easily worth noting that a lot of people this year are in the franchise mode, getting it together. One of the biggest reasons is the backdrop of the COVID, one of the biggest reason is the economic issue. I just spent weeks and weeks on the phone talking with NFL and the players' association, weeks and weeks working through the economic consequences and candidly nobody knows what's going to be there next year, next year or the next year and frankly we all know that what we were talking about in Dak's case was the next year and the next year and the next year and the next year. So, all of that came to bare and this was just a less than stable time to be talking about serious, serious, generational, if you will, to use Dak's term, dollars in an unknown period of time looking forward. That certainly was one of the issues."
Jones' claims ring true amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The other issues, if there are any, will likely be hashed out over time.
For now, though, it's about football, which includes Prescott moving into the Cowboys' makeshift bubble environment at a team hotel. This season will present challenges unlike any other for those participating.
If Prescott has his way, none of those will involve his contract.