Receiver Dez Bryant is on record saying he is deserving of a contract extension.
The Cowboys apparently agree.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team has already begun contract talks with Bryant and his agent, Eugene Parker. Jones said it's “a real possibility” that a deal could be consummated during the 2014 season, if not before.
“We’re certainly taking a long look at that,” Jones said during a radio interview 1310 The Ticket. “As we do with any great player in our organization who’s nearing the end of a contract, we start to look at it and see how we might structure something going forward. I think that’s a possibility, yes.”
Bryant, 25, is coming off his first Pro Bowl season. He has developed into one of the league’s premiere receivers and wants to be paid like one as well.
Bryant's 25 touchdowns since 2012 are tied for first among all receivers the past two years. He is sixth in yards and seventh in receptions during that time.
What that means to Bryant is contract extension averaging at least $10 million a season, putting on him on par with the likes of Chicago's Brandon Marshall, Detroit's Calvin Johnson, Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, Seattle's Percy Harvin, Miami's Mike Wallace, Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe and Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson.
Bryant will make $1.78 million in 2014 in the final year of his rookie deal.
Bryant believes he is deserving of a new deal to keep him with the Cowboys long term not just because of what he has done on the field but because of his growing maturity off the field.
After being involved with a number of controversial incidents the first two years of his career, culminated by a misdemeanor family violence charge before the 2012 season, Bryant has been relatively issue-free the past 24 months.
He has gone above and beyond in trying to earn the Cowboys trust to let them know he is worthy of a long-term investment. He now is waiting for the big pay off.
“Well, I just feel like it goes for any player. If you put the work in and if it’s deserving, it is what it is," Bryant said. “As far as from the receiver standpoint, of course I feel like I’m one of the better receivers in this league. But like I said, when it comes to that contract, I’m going to sit back and I’m going to wait and see what happens. I’ll just leave all that talk up to my agent and Mr. Jones and jump in whenever I need to.”
-- Clarence Hill