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    Malik Hooker Believes CeeDee Lamb Should Be Paid Before Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons

    With the Cowboys still having several contracts that need to be sorted out, hear why Malik Hooker thinks CeeDee Lamb's deal should get done first.

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    Training camp is set to begin in less than a month, and the Dallas Cowboys still need answers to looming contract decisions. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and quarterback Dak Prescott were both expected to receive new deals this offseason, while EDGE Micah Parsons is not far behind them.

    With still no resolution for those three, Cowboys safety Malik Hooker was asked who he thinks should get paid first, and he responded with a very clear answer.

    Why Malik Hooker Thinks Cowboys Should Prioritize CeeDee Lamb Over Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons

    Hooker joined former Cowboys and NFL legend Keyshawn Johnson on his latest episode of the “All Facts No Brakes” podcast and discussed a wide array of topics, one of which was the unsettled contract situations for a few of his high-profile teammates.

    “Don’t give me the b——-; I don’t talk about people’s money and all that. Who should they pay first, man?” Johnson asked.

    Hooker quickly stated, “CeeDee,” before continuing, “I put probably Dak second, then I’ll put Zack [Martin]. Micah’s gotta wait, man. You still a young dog, man.”

    Hooker went on to say, “In my mind, CeeDee — not saying he’s better than these [other wide receivers getting new deals] — I feel like he has shown up more in certain situations than these guys have, in my personal opinion.”

    “I feel like CeeDee should be paid first for the simple fact of what he does for us and how valuable he is for us, the leader he is for us as a team,” Hooker added. “CeeDee’s one of those guys if he’s playing that game, and you know you’re lining up, you know it’s going to be a long game for whoever is guarding him.”

    MORE: 5 Reasons For Optimism Entering the 2024 Dallas Cowboys Season

    Eventually, resolutions will be needed for all of the players in question. As the season draws near, it will become an unavoidable distraction otherwise.

    However, with a lot of money still needing to be spent by the Cowboys’ front office, Hooker has planted his flag on who he thinks should be taken care of first.

    Could Lamb Hold Out From Cowboys Training Camp Without a Deal?

    Without an agreed-upon deal, Lamb has proven he is willing and able to stay away from the team and hold out if he feels it’s necessary.

    Mandatory workouts came and went, and despite being fined for the absences, Lamb did not show up, proving he is serious about his desire for a new deal.

    On the latest episode of “Get Up,” ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano said he believes Lamb will hold out if no new deal is in place.

    With training camp beginning in a few weeks, if the Cowboys’ front office chooses to prolong this situation any longer without going back to the negotiating table and presenting a deal that entices Lamb, the idea of the superstar wideout holding out in training camp becomes very real.

    Lamb is a budding superstar who wants to be paid as such. The Cowboys surely do not want Lamb to be disgruntled or play elsewhere, as they value drafting and developing their own players.

    However, now it is time to pay those same guys, and Lamb looks to be staying off the field until they do.

    Projecting Lamb’s Potential Contract Extension

    Although Graziano stated he would anticipate a holdout if the two sides can’t reach an agreement, he expects Lamb and the Cowboys to get a deal done. Graziano expressed confidence because of the benchmark set by Justin Jefferson’s new contract in Minnesota.

    With Jefferson’s deal with the Vikings completed, the rest of the wide receiver market becomes that much clearer. Jefferson’s deal is for four years and $140 million and includes $110 million guaranteed, good for $35 million a year.

    The benchmark across the league has been set, and the only thing to sort out now is where Lamb fits into that equation.

    If Lamb believes he deserves more, the floor becomes an annual average value of $35 million. If he and the Cowboys concede that he should make less than Jefferson, the two sides now have a ceiling.

    MORE: Malik Hooker On Micah Parsons’ Pod: “What Are You Really Caring About?”

    Lamb has made it clear he believes he is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers and should be paid as such. Seeing him settle somewhere under Jefferson at around four years, $128 million shouldn’t be viewed as shocking. It puts him at $32 million per year on average, falling a few million short of Jefferson’s contract. But that would still make him the second-highest-paid wideout in the NFL.

    These negotiations do not have to be hard, with the bulk of the work already figured out. However, Jerry Jones is known to like to drive a hard bargain, and with big-time contracts unresolved and the season looming, answers are needed now more than ever.

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