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Stephen Jones: We want 'to make Dez a Cowboy for life'

By Ryan Wilson |

Dez Bryant is the next Cowboys player in line for a big pay increase. (USATSI)
Dez Bryant is the next Cowboys player in line for a big pay increase. (USATSI)

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Not long after the Cowboys had signed left tackle Tyron Smith to an eight-year, $98 million extension, executive vice president Stephen Jones made it clear that another key cog in the Dallas offense, wide receiver Dez Bryant, remains atop the team's long-term plans. In fact, Jones wants Bryant to play his entire career in Dallas.

We're totally committed to make Dez a Cowboy for life,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Drew Davison. “Our plans from Day 1 … figure a way to get Dez and Tyron extended.”

And while that's a nice sentiment, Bryant is expected to agree only to a new contract that makes him among the league's highest-paid receivers.

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, Bryant will make a base salary of $1.78 million, more than $14 million less than what Calvin Johnson's latest deal pays him annually, on average. And the list of pass catchers making more than $10 million a season include, in addition to Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe and Larry Fitzgerald.

According to Football Outsiders, Bryant ranked 18th in total value among all wide receivers last season. Johnson ranked seventh, Marshall was 10th, Fitzgerald was 36th and Bowe was 52nd.

But Jones wasn't interested in speculating on when Bryant might get that much-deserved raise.

“I don't guess on when things get done,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill tweets that even after Smith's long-term extension, the Cowboys have just under $10 million in cap space, which is enough to get Bryant's new deal done.

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