Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said the franchise has meetings set up at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week with the agents for defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and guard Zack Martin in hopes of making progress on long-term contract extensions for both players.
Those decisions, along with one regarding the future of receiver Dez Bryant, are the team's top off-season priorities.
Unlike Martin and Lawrence, the Cowboys have to decide whether they want Bryant on the team moving forward and at what cost.
He is set to make $12.5 million next year with a cap figure of $16.5 million. He will most certainly be asked to take a pay cut, at least.
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Also unlike Martin and Lawrence, Jones said the Cowboys have yet to schedule a meeting with Bryant and his representative. But he expects one in the near future.
"I don't have a time frame just yet," Jones said. "Obviously, it's going to happen sooner than later. ... We have to continue to work on our end and see where we are gonna end up on it."
But he acknowledged the Cowboys are facing a huge decision with Bryant, one that's even more emotional because of his close relationship with owner Jerry Jones.
To that end, Jones tellingly compared the impending decision with Bryant to the emotional departures of former stars Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.
"Well, it’s difficult," Jones said. "That’s the hard part about our business. That’s the way Jerry is. The way I am. You do get attached to these men. All amazing people that lay it on the line for the Cowboys, our fans, and no one respects them more than we do.
"When these times come, whether it's Troy, whether it’s Emmitt, whether it’s Michael, when that time finally gets there it’s a difficult decision. You’ve see the press conferences when Troy retires or Michael retires, it’s a lot of emotion. And not to say Dez is at that point but all these decisions are very difficult, especially with great players who’ve done so much for our organization."