NY Jets must avoid making same cheapskate mistake as Cowboys

The Jets should learn from Jerry Jones's mistakes
Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets genuinely have one of the best young cores in the entire NFL, and much of that is due to the team's historic 2022 draft class that netted them the likes of Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson, and Breece Hall.

All four players have emerged as true stars at their respective positions, helping position the Jets as legitimate contenders this season. The hope and expectation is that all four will remain long-term building blocks on the Jets' roster.

But if the Jets are to ensure that happens, they're going to have to avoid making the same mistakes that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys made with their core.

The Cowboys have infamously waited too long to extend star players in the past, most notably with Ezekiel Elliott a few years ago. Now, the team finds itself in a similar situation with Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons — three more homegrown players — all needing new contracts.

There doesn't appear to be a sense of urgency on the part of Jones and the Cowboys, and it seems likely that Prescott, specifically, could be headed for free agency in 2025. The Jets should learn from Dallas's mistakes.

How the NY Jets can avoid repeating the Cowboys' mistakes

The Cowboys notably waited too long to extend Elliott a few years ago, with his whopping six-year extension not kicking in until his sixth season in the NFL. That's part of the reason the team was forced to move on from star wide receiver Amari Cooper.

A similar situation appears to be developing in Dallas again. Prescott seems likely to hit free agency, while the Cowboys appear content letting Lamb and Parsons play out the remainder of their rookie contracts. The price tags for both players will only continue to go up.

That's a situation the Jets need to avoid entirely. Each of their four stars from the 2022 draft will be eligible for an extension as early as next offseason, and it might make sense for the team to explore that option.

Hall makes the most sense as a top extension candidate. He's the only one of the four without a fifth-year option since he was a second-round pick, and he also plays a position that has a notably short shelf life in the NFL.

The Cowboys made the mistake of paying Elliott for what he used to be and not what he currently was because they waited so long. It would be wise for the Jets to consider extending Hall next offseason to ensure they have him under contract for the entirety of his prime.

It might also make sense to extend a player like Johnson given the state of the pass rusher market. With edge rushers continuously resetting the market, getting ahead of the game on a Johnson extension could save the Jets money in the long run.

You can absolutely make the case for Gardner and Wilson as well. Gardner, in particular, seems destined to become the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history at some point.

The Jets are going to have to pay that bill eventually. Why not do it sooner rather than later to save money down the line?

Ultimately, there's a good chance one of these players ends up getting franchise-tagged anyway, and Wilson probably seems like the most likely candidate. That doesn't mean the Jets shouldn't/won't extend him, but the team can probably afford to wait a little longer before that happens.

Of course, a lot can change over the course of the next 1-2 years, but this is a situation the Jets should be thinking about already. These are the foundational players of their current and future roster — the most important players to the organization.

General manager Joe Douglas — or whoever is in charge at that point — must refrain from making the same short-sighted mistakes Jerry Jones and the Cowboys made. Learn from their missteps.