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Jayron Kearse on contract: 'Good football is my goal'


FRISCO, Texas — Business is always open for the Dallas Cowboys. It's one reason they were able to secure both Trevon Diggs and Malik Hooker on deals during 2023 training camp in Oxnard, as well as Zack Martin, and the offseason extension on Donovan Wilson now draws a direct line toward a potential reup with Jayron Kearse — but when?

For his part, Kearse isn't entering the season with it weighing too heavily on his mind, at least not beyond the obvious reason it would:

The better he plays, the more he'll likely earn.

"I'm just ready to get out there and just play football," said Kearse. "We've got some unfinished business and me, personally, I feel like I've got a lot to prove still. I'm just ready to go show what I can do on a consistent basis.

"Third year is the charm. Hopefully, I can show everybody what I'm truly about."

Kearse, like Hooker, joined the Cowboys in 2021 on a one-year deal, earning a two-year extension in 2022. But, unlike Hooker, he's still hoping for a third contract with the Cowboys.

The team reworked his 2023 deal to fully guarantee his $4 million salary as a sign of good faith.

The ability of Kearse to lock down premier tight ends is invaluable, as is his leadership in the locker room, on the field and on the sideline in-between plays. The latter is what he's keyed in on as preparation begins for the regular season opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 10.

"It's part of this business," he said. "I just go play football. I can't do anything about the contract situation. Either way, I have to go play good football, regardless. That's just what I move by: understanding that I've gotta go play good ball, or else what I feel like I'm worth or what I deserve won't come.

"Good football is my main objective, my main thing I have to do, and everything else will handle itself — God willing."

The 29-year-old isn't lacking for fire or for motivation, as evidenced in his post-practice interview that followed the Cowboys' skirmish in Oxnard. The season can't come soon enough for a player who is one-third of what can rightfully be labeled as the best safety hydra in the NFL.

"We ain't taking no sh-t from nobody — all 32 teams — we ain't taking sh-t from nobody," said Kearse. "Whether it's our offense or the next offense. We're trying to show we're the best in the business, so it gets spicy out here, it's gonna get spicy on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays; whenever we line up, that's how we're gonna come."

Keeping that energy on a weekly basis will likely get him paid in no time.

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