Owner Jerry Jones dismissed an NFL Network report that the Cowboys are holding up negotiations with Dez Bryant because of concerns about the receiver’s off-field issues.
“What we want to do is have an agreement for the rest of Dez’s career,” Jones said. “So that’s what we want. To me that says a lot about the concern about off-the-field concerns if we want him on the Dallas Cowboys for the rest of his career. There is more to consider than just how good a player (he is). There’s more to consider than performance. He represents the star. We want him to be proud of that. He can be. I’m real impressed with how he’s evolved over the last several years, or we wouldn’t be in serious contract negotiations with him. So I think all of that is where it really is, and I do look for us to get something done with Dez.”
Stephen Jones said the team has yet to start negotiations with Bryant’s new agent. The receiver recently hired Jay Z’s Roc Nation to represent him, with CAA agent Tom Condon charged with negotiating Bryant’s new contract.
“I have a lot of confidence we will [get a long-term deal done],” Stephen Jones said. “I think Dez wants to be here, and I know we want him here.”
Bryant is in the final year of his rookie contract, which pays him a base salary of $1.78 million. The Cowboys could use the franchise tag on Bryant, which would pay him more than $12 million next season but would not provide him with long-term security. Bryant has said he would be “highly disappointed” for the Cowboys to use the franchise tag on him.
The Cowboys are comfortable giving Bryant a long-term deal, Stephen Jones said, while expressing confidence the sides can get one done.
“We’ve offered him some really nice contracts,” Stephen Jones said. “We also have to respect his views on where it is. My take on those things is that they ultimately find a way.”
Jerry Jones said a new deal for Bryant doesn’t mean a new home for DeMarco Murray. The running back, whose 1,233 yards leads the NFL, is in the final year of his rookie deal, paying him a base salary of $755,469 this season.
“The facts are they’re young, healthy and having great years,” Jerry Jones said of Bryant and Murray. “You want to dial in to that one. I’ll take the headache of trying to negotiate and fit them in the roster every day with that criteria.”