Prescott pristine in opener amid extension talks

ARLINGTON, Texas -- By not agreeing to a contract extension before the season, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is betting on himself.

He put his cards on the table in the Cowboys' 35-17 season-opening victory Sunday against the New York Giants.

Prescott completed 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards, with four touchdown passes and no interceptions for his second consecutive game against the Cowboys' NFC East rival. He had four touchdown and 387 yards in the 2018 season finale at MetLife Stadium last December.

After the game, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he would characterize an extension with Prescott as being "imminent," which he then defined as expecting it could reasonably be completed in the next few days.

Asked if Prescott's performance increased the price tag, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones laughed out loud and jokingly said, "No comment."

But he also said he believes progress has been made toward a deal.

"We have urgency, but it takes two," Stephen Jones said. "We're making some progress. I think we'll just see. ... We're just going to keep grinding and he's selfless. He's not worried about himself and of course it showed today. We're just going to continue to work toward getting this done."

Prescott, who is making a $2.02 million base salary on the final year of his rookie deal, said his mind is on next week's opponent, the Washington Redskins, and not on signing what should be the richest deal in team history.

"I have people that handle that and my focus is on this team, on the football game, and I think as long as I can keep continuing to do that this team will do things like we did tonight," Prescott said. "As I said, that's been out of my focus for the past week and I told you guys that."

While before the season started the Cowboys signed DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, La'el Collins and Ezekiel Elliott to contracts that included $185.5 million in guaranteed money, they were not able to get Prescott under wraps long term before Sunday's game, although talks have picked up in recent days.

League sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Prescott has loss-of-value and disability insurance policies, as well as multiyear endorsement deals that are valued at more than $50 million. The Cowboys have made Prescott an offer that is among the top five quarterbacks, which means more than $30 million per season, but based off Sunday, the price is not coming down.

Prescott and Tony Romo, who did it twice, are the only quarterbacks in Cowboys history with 400 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Prescott is the fifth quarterback in NFL history to open a season with 400 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Ryan Fitzpatrick did it last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints.

Prescott finished with a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for the game, but really it was his work in the second quarter that was exemplary. In the first quarter, he threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Blake Jarwin, but he completed 12 of 14 passes for 158 yards in the second quarter, with touchdown throws to Jason Witten (4 yards) and Amari Cooper (21 yards) as the Cowboys jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead.

It was the second three-touchdown half of Prescott's career and the first since he faced the Green Bay Packers in 2017.

On the first drive of the second half, Prescott equaled his career high with his fourth touchdown pass, hitting Randall Cobb for 25 yards after finding Cooper for 45 yards on the first play of the third quarter. On the Cowboys' second drive of the second half, Prescott connected with Michael Gallup for 62 yards, preceding Elliott's 10-yard touchdown run.

Late in the fourth quarter, Prescott was pulled in favor of backup quarterback Cooper Rush but he returned for the final two kneel-downs.

Despite having one of the better games of his career, Prescott said the Cowboys can play "so much better."

"We talked about it as a team in there," Prescott said. "We're never going to be satisfied. We're never going to be complacent with what we're doing. There's a lot of areas in that game, offense, defense and [special] teams that we can get better at. One, just about finishing the game. We could've put our foot on the pedal and done a better job, but I think that's mentality. All of us have it in there, so it's about staying focused and making that mentality be contagious, and we'll do better at that."