ARLINGTON, Texas – Last month, the Cowboys made sure to lock up their left tackle for more than a decade. Could it be time to do the same with their star wide receiver?
Dez Bryant certainly hopes so appears eager to get that deal sooner than later as he enters the final season of his original five-year deal. Bryant said Monday night following a sponsored event at AT&T Stadium that his preference is to get a deal done before the season rather than to have anything deter his focus once the regular season begins.
"Once the season starts, I'm all in," Bryant said to a group of reporters Monday night. "I've got this team to worry about. The work that I put in, the love, the real love, the real passion that I have for this game overtakes everything. I honestly feel like what I do sooner or later, I'm going to get what I deserve. I believe it. That's why I don't stress about. It's coming. I know it's coming. So no need to worry about it."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he understands Bryant's desire to get a deal done and said it's a stance he shares as well as the two sides remain in negotiation for a new contract.
"He's got a good sense of it," Jones said of the negotiations. "Obviously he feels in the right circumstances, he's got to get something done. And we do, too. That can be good."
As for Bryant saying he'd rather not do a deal in the middle of the season, Jones didn't sound too concerned.
"That's not uncommon – that makes all the sense in the world," Jones said. "I know Dez well. Obviously he wants to be responsible. It's a pleasure to have someone that their only focus to him and his family is playing football for the Dallas Cowboys. That's a plus for everyone." [embedded_ad]
I'm talking generically, not with him, but in any negotiation, until the parties agree, then the other one in general don't know (why it's not being done). I can understand what he's trying to say."
While the Cowboys have been negotiating with Bryant for most of the offseason, other contracts with wide receivers around the league have likely raised the bar, and the price tag Bryant's group is looking for.
The Packers signed Jordy Nelson to a four-year, $39 million contract while the Bears inked Brandon Marshall to a four-year, $40 million deal.
Back on July 30, the Cowboys signed tackle Tyron Smith to an eight-year extension that is worth more than $109.7 million. That same day, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones didn't dismiss getting Bryant done this year as well.
"We have the room to sign Dez today," Jones said. "We're still committed to that. We're totally committed to make Dez a Cowboy for life.Our plans from Day 1 … figure a way to get Dez and Tryon extended."