Jeremy Mincey’s holdout is over.
The Cowboys and Mincey reached a contract agreement for 2015, according to a source, that includes a bump in pay for the veteran defensive end.
The exact numbers are not known, but the deal includes at least an extra $500,000 that will push Mincey’s salary to at least $2 million this season.
Mincey, who sat out for four days, returned to practice Sunday. He went through it without pads, though, as the Cowboys intend to ease him back into it.
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“It’s good to have him here,” coach Jason Garrett said earlier in the day. “It was a good conversation [he had with Mincey]. We’ll see how he’s doing. ...But excited to have him here in training camp.”
Mincey, 31, boycotted the start of camp because the team refused to give him a contract extension. The Cowboys were unhappy that Mincey wasn’t honoring his contract, and vowed to fine him for sitting out.
In the end, though, both sides made concessions. Mincey relented on his extension demands, settling for a higher-paying deal this season and is set to become a free agent after the season. The Cowboys, meanwhile, were willing to give him the bump in pay.
Mincey led the Cowboys with six sacks and started all 16 games last season. He was also considered a key glue guy in the locker room and is expected to mentor defensive ends Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory.
Considering that Hardy will miss the first four games of the NFL season because of an NFL suspension, the Cowboys needed Mincey to start again at defensive end early on. Gregory, an undersized rookie, is not ready to handle run responsibilities at the position.
The Cowboys also value Mincey’s versatility and plan to use him at defensive tackle as well as defensive end.
“I think Jeremy has been a good player in this league for a number of years,” Garrett said. “He’s physically tough, and he plays hard. You want that on your football team. I think if you look at the identity of our defense last year, I think one of the things we can point to that was positive was the identity that we played with. We played hard. We played tough. We ran to the ball.
“I think that contributed to taking the ball away 31 times, second-most in the National Football League. That positively impacted the games that we played, and I think Mince was a big part of that, establishing that identity, that toughness, that relentlessness.”
Bryant, Patmon fight
Dez Bryant threw his mouthpiece, and then a left hook, toward cornerback Tyler Patmon during a prolonged and heated practice fight Sunday.
The scuffle lasted about five minutes and Bryant didn’t calm down until quarterback Tony Romo intervened.
Afterward, the two Oklahoma State products hugged.