It didn't even take 24 hours for the Dallas Cowboys to make fans of America's Team forget all about the Tampa Bay Bay Buccaneers' 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.
The Cowboys released a 30-second hype video on Sunday and conspicuously absent from the video was none other than the franchise quarterback, Dak Prescott.
Prescott is currently without a contract with the club as his one-year franchise tag expired at the end of the 2020 season. The two-time Pro Bowler finished the season on injured reserve after breaking his ankle on Oct. 11, 2020.
While the Cowboys and Prescott are free to negotiate a multi-year contract extension, there hasn't been any movement on either side, a continuation of the non-activity from last offseason.
Throw in Prescott not being in the hype video, and the message appears to be that the Cowboys have plans without the 2016 fourth-round pick from Mississippi State.
However, former Cowboys All-Pro center Travis Frederick doesn't believe that owner Jerry Jones and chief operating officer Stephen Jones were sending Prescott a message through a 30-second video published to the club's social media platforms.
"I also find it hard to believe that Stephen or Jerry went down from their offices downstairs and said, 'Hey, please don't include Dak in this. We're going to send a message to him,'" Frederick told "Ben & Skin" on 97.1 "The Eagle" [KEGL-FM] Wednesday. "They would probably just call him and tell him what's actually going to happen here."
According to Frederick, who played for Dallas from 2013-19, the football operations film staff produce hype videos for pregame, and that staff is separate from the marketing and media side of the Cowboys.
"Marketing and social and like community are in a totally separate area of the business and in the building," Frederick said of the department layout at The Star. "There's this space they call 'the knuckle' and all of the football related things are on one side and then there's the lunchroom and then there's 'the knuckle' which there's a staircase. Beyond that is where all the business and the marketing and the sales and all of that stuff. So, like, it's a very separate end. They're very separate processes. So, I find it really hard to believe that there was any sort of crossover there."
Frederick found the football side's hype videos to be comical at times because of how desperately they endeavored to include every player on the team, including specialists and players who saw a paucity of snaps throughout the season.
Frederick: "You always had a punt. You always had a kick. You always had L.P. Ladouceur running down to go tackle somebody, and maybe if you didn't play, you were in the line and Coach [Jason] Garrett was shaking your hand or something. But they made a very big point to do that. I say that because it was so funny. You couldn't not pay attention to that."
Given the video was 32 seconds total and only included 20 seconds total of footage from the 2020 season, Frederick has no reason to conclude that the perceived slight was anything other than a mistake.
"My guess is it's an honest mistake, one, and two, Dak got hurt at some point during the year there," Frederick said. "So, you use the footage from last year to do it. So, there isn't a lot of footage. They're not going back multiple years to make sure everybody's in there. It's 'here's some cool moments from the previous season.'"
Do you think the Cowboys leaving Dak out of their video was a coincidence or are they sending their signal caller a message? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.