Since entering the league, quarterback Dak Prescott has been a stabilizing feature under center for the Dallas Cowboys through his first two seasons. Despite stepback in production this past season, his presence has helped bring a sense of optimism around the team.

With this territory now comes the pending contract extension discussions that will soon be at the forefront for the Cowboys after the 2018 season when Prescott is eligible to garner a new deal. According to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, team executive vice president Stephen Jones voiced on Wednesday that the team is preparing to pay the 24-year-old what he believes he has earned.

“Yeah, you know at that position, it kind of is what it is,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday at the team’s annual golf tournament. “You kind of, when the time comes, [expect to pay him]. I know Dak is going to have a good year this year. I hope it’s up there. It’s going to be as he deserves. He was a fourth-round pick. No one deserves to get paid fairly more than he does. We all see what some of the other guys are who aren’t Aaron Rodgers, who aren’t Matt Ryan [are getting paid]. He’s going to do well. We certainly know that’s going to happen. We’ve got that planned in our budgeting for the salary cap.

“I just want Dak to go out and be MVP this year of the NFL. That’s what I want. Then, we’ll deal with that.”

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Although there is still some time until that situation presents itself for the Cowboys, it is clear that Prescott is in for a major payday that will completely overshadow his current four-year, $2.7 million deal that runs through the 2019 campaign. He has stepped smoothly as the starting quarterback for the franchise while helping them win at least nine games in each of his first two years.

There are questions concerning his ability to carry the team with his arm, but Prescott has shown to work quite well alongside star running back Ezekiel Elliott over their short period of time together. These two could be the foundational pieces for the next decade that could lead the franchise back to the Super Bowl.

All of this places a huge importance for Prescott to take the next stride in the 2018 season to show that he is not only the Cowboys’ cornerstone under center, but that he deserves to be paid like one of the game’s top players at the position.