The Cowboys backed up the Brink's truck to Dak Prescott's doorstep this week, finally accomplishing what the football world has been waiting on for nearly two years. Jerry Jones does not -- and will not -- have buyer's remorse.
The owner of the Cowboys was emphatic in his response to the thought he might have overpaid for Prescott when he secured his agreement to a four-year, $160 million deal, leaning on his business experiences as a point of reference and authority in making this decision.
"When I bought the Cowboys, apart from a lot of other things that were being said, it was very commonly said of how idiot I was for paying what I paid for the Cowboys," Jones recalled during Wednesday's press conference. "And that's not an exaggeration, that's firmly there. Well, I really got screwed, I ended up with the Dallas Cowboys.
"The truth is most anything that I've ever been involved in that ended up being special, I overpaid for, every time, to the end. Anytime I've tried to get a bargain, I got just that, it was a bargain in a lot of ways and not up to standard. And so, the other thing, that our process of getting here from Dak's rookie deal, I knew that Dak wanted to be here and really no place else. I knew that and I think Dak knew how good he fit here, although I can understand his apprehension. This was not a test of some sort of 'can Dak handle it?' or something like that, that wasn't the case at all."
What was the case was a quarterback who, oddly enough, proved his value to be near the maximum possible by suffering an unfortunate and gruesome ankle injury that ended his season prematurely in 2020. Playing under the franchise tag because he and the Cowboys couldn't agree on a deal last year, Prescott was faced with the reality that he might have lost the gamble on himself.
The deal he agreed to this week proved otherwise, vindicating his faith and belief in himself, and his role as the quarterback of the Cowboys.
"To me, it wasn't a gamble," Prescott explained. "So even sitting there, holding my leg or whatever on the field, trying to put it back into place, or later on being in the hospital and waking up from surgery, that's just what God's thrown at me. If you've known my life, if you've known my story, whatever circumstance that is, I'm going to take it with a smile and be thankful that God has put me in this position to overcome it, to be an example to others. So never in a million years.
"And I have to thank, honestly, Alex Smith. Because at that moment when you're sitting there and you have an injury like that or you come out of surgery, to see somebody who's already done it and did it actually in worse circumstances, that allowed my mind just to go to straight, 'Hey, I can do this. I'm going to beat this. It's just a matter of time. What are the doctors saying? But I'm going to beat this.' So I have to thank Alex for somebody who's overcome that and won Comeback Player of the Year, and congrats to him.
"As cliché as it is, and I'll say it again, I'm insulted when people say I gambled, because you get out what you put into something and as I've said, I've given so much and I'm going to continue to give. And that's how you reap the rewards."
The rewards came in monetary fashion with his lavish deal, the second-highest amount given to a quarterback in NFL history. Now, it's about celebrating the achievement of bridging the gap between the two sides and crossing it to resume their pursuit of a championship.
Prescott said Wednesday he wasn't going to "put a timepoint on" his return to football activities because of the nature of his injury and his own preference in how he attacks adversity, but he sounded very confident in where he is at this point. With the contract issue settled, the biggest hurdle standing between Prescott and the 2021 regular season is the remaining rehabilitation of his surgically repaired ankle.
"I'll be ready when it matters," he said. "And I'll be more than healthy and better than I was before."
He'll be ready, and he'll be well-paid. As he expressed Wednesday, he knows he's in the right place for him, declaring he knew "there was never a slight doubt in my mind that I wouldn't wear the Star for the rest of my life."
Now, it's up to the Jones family to surround him with the right group of talent capable of chasing a title. When asked if a healthy Prescott gives Dallas the best team in the NFC East, the once-divided pairing of Prescott and Cowboys brass was in lockstep.
"Yes," Prescott said.
"Absolutely," Stephen Jones added.