Cowboys extend contract offer to Lawrence –

The Dallas Cowboys have a busy offseason ahead of them, filled with contract extensions, franchise tags and potential holdouts.

The first order of business? Re-signing defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a long-term contract extension.

Regarded by our scientists as the top free agent available in 2019, Lawrence has been clamoring for a contract all season long and does not intend to sign a franchise tag if Dallas settles on tendering him again, though that’s currently not the plan.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told NFL Network’s Judy Battista in Indianapolis on Tuesday that the Cowboys have begun contract negotiations with Lawrence and talks are on-going.

"I don’t know the timing," Jones said, "but I’m very confident we can get a deal done."

In addition to commencing talks with Lawrence, Jones added that the team plans to reward both running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott with contract extensions in the near future.

Regarding Elliott, Jones said the starting point for negotiations will be at Todd Gurley‘s value. The Los Angeles Rams signed Gurley last offseason to a four-year, $57.5 million contract with $45 million guaranteed. Zeke’s new deal figures to eclipse that.

On Dak, Jones said, "You look at a quarterback that has had the success he’s had. … He’s done everything the right way. I think he deserves to have his contract looked at in a very progressive way."

Prescott’s rookie deal expires after the 2019 season.

Jones was also asked about the security of coach Jason Garrett’s job. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in January that Dallas was unlikely to extend Garrett’s contract, which expires after the 2019 season. In essence, Garrett is entering a lame-duck season, that is unless he earns an extension with a great campaign.

"No one wants Jason to be around here for the long term more than the Jones family," Jones told reporters. "No one thinks more of him than we do. But at the same time, everybody’s back is against the wall right now.

"We’ve got high expectations for this young team. Everybody, from Jason to his staff to our players to ownership to the organization feels the pressure to take the next step. Our fans deserve that. We haven’t done it in a long time."

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