Wide receiver Dez Bryant can’t see himself with any other team and he wants to retire a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
But Bryant is admittedly frustrated with the protracted negotiations with the Cowboys on a long-term contract extension.
And while he appreciates the way the Cowboys have stood by him during some off-the-field issues, he has matured during his four years in Dallas, he said it’s all about respect and that loyalty works both ways.
“I just know what I’m going to accept and I know what I’m not going to accept,” Bryant said. “It’s not about the money. I just feel like a little respect should play a factor in that. I love it [here]. But every day you grow. Let’s see what happens. It’s all about respect. I am a very loyal person, but just don’t test my loyalty.”
Bryant is in the last year of his rookie deal and has been in talks with the Cowboys since last spring about a long-term extension.
The two-time Pro Bowler wants a deal commensurate to his status as one of the league’s top three receivers, which comes with a starting point of roughly $13 million annually with $30 million in guaranteed money.
Although the Cowboys have offered Bryant some pretty nice contracts, according to vice president Stephen Jones, they have yet to meet his demands.
Bryant said he’s not trying to be unreasonable, but he says his focus is on taking care of his family and getting what he deserves.
“Just something we can compromise on. I’m not accepting what’s given to me,” Bryant said. “If it’s right, it’s right. I’ll sign my name on the dotted line. If it’s not, it’s not. At the end of the day, I want to win. But at the same time, I have a family and that’s what is important. I put the work in, I’ve got to give myself some kind of credit.”
Bryant acknowledged he’s learned a lot about business during his talks, which has somewhat changed his relationship with Stephen Jones and owner Jerry Jones.
Although Bryant cut contract talks off before the start of the season, this bye week might be an opportune time to get something done.
The Cowboys have not re-opened contract talks with Tom Condon of Creative Artists Agency. He will handle negotiations for Roc Nation, the Jay Z-owned sports agency that Bryant switched to last week.
“When the opportunity presents itself, I will dig into it,” Bryant said of talking to Condon about re-starting negotiations this week. “That is something I’m not focused on. I feel like what is understood shouldn’t be explained.”
Bryant said the contract situation will not affect his play over the next six games just like it didn’t during the first 10.
He has 56 catches for 793 yards and eight touchdowns. He ranks seventh in catches in the NFL, ninth in yards and fourth in touchdowns.
“I would be selfish if I made this all about me,” Bryant said. “I know what me and my teammates have been working on, what we are trying to get. The Cowboys and everybody knows where my head is when it comes to this situation.”