IRVING, Texas– Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones remains optimistic the team will eventually sign Dez Bryant to a long-term contract, but acknowledges that it's a difficult process bridging the gap between the NFL's highest-paid receiver contracts – Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald each make about $16 million per year – and the rest of the league.
The Denver Broncos, in particular, are in the exact situation as the Cowboys: like Bryant, fellow All-Pro Demaryius Thomas has yet to sign his franchise tag tender and is skipping voluntary offseason workouts with no signed contract at the moment.
Atlanta's Julio Jones and Cincinnati's A.J. Green are entering the final year of their rookie deals and might have to wait for Bryant and Thomas to help re-establish the receiver market.
"I think ultimately we'll get this done," Jones said during a conference call Q&A session with Cowboys season ticket holders. "No one wants to have Dez long term involved with the Dallas Cowboys more so than our organization, Jerry and myself."
Focus on Rookie Wideouts
Jones said the Cowboys put a "big priority" on pursuing several talented rookie free agent receivers after the draft, some of which were on the team's board late in the draft.
The Cowboys are hopeful their rookie free agent receiver class produces roster contenders much like 2006, when Miles Austin and Sam Hurd made the team as undrafted players.
Though the Cowboys' list hasn't been finalized and made official yet, USC's George Farmer, Baylor's Antwan Goodley, Houston's Deontay Greenberry and Florida Atlantic's Lucky Whitehead are names that have filtered out since the draft ended.