Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will never admit it but he was initially wary about receiver Dez Bryant’s decision choose Roc Nation, run by rapper Jay-Z, to handle his contract negotiations and marketing.
Bryant is no longer bound by the “Dez Rules” and has cut ties with advisor David Wells.
For Jones, it wasn’t just about doing the deal, which was handled by veteran agent Tom Condon. It also about guiding Bryant’s life and career off the field.
Bryant had made significant strides in maturity and personal accountability after a few missteps early in his career and Jones didn’t want him taking any steps backwards.
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Jones got the comfort he was looking for during a marathon, face-to-face negotiating session with Roc Nation in New York Tuesday night that last until 3 a.m., setting the stage for the five-year, $70 million contract extension Bryant signed on Wednesday.
“I must emphasize, Roc Nation, Jay-Z, the key people in Roc Nation did a marvelous job of convincing us that managing Dez and managing him with his off the field, with his marketing opportunities, with his finances, that they’re a group that will really make a contribution to Dez,” Jones said. “They were very significant in us doing this deal with Dez.”
Jones said he came away impressed with Roc Nation and the plan they have in place for Bryant. And while Jay-Z was not personally involved in the negotiations, it all revolves around him, his successful rise from rapper to media mogul and the other entertainers he has guided to stardom.
“They sold me on their commitment to have an associate in Dez that makes them proud, that makes Dez proud to be associated with them, and that makes Roc Nation proud,” Jones said. “I see that. I see they have a lot to gain and a lot to lose by giving good advice and by helping not only athletes but having entertainers reach their goals and, if you will, keep the money they earn. They’re good at it. They have the perfect textbook. It’s called their book. So they’re good at it. They’re genuine at it and I’m very, very impressed.”