Dez Bryant, Cowboys unlikely to reach new deal


Dez Bryant believes he has earned the right to get paid as one of the NFL's top wide receivers.

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones acknowledged in late May that a new contract for Bryant is a "possibility" before the start of the 2014 season.

The likelihood of that happening took a big hit when the Cowboys locked up left tackle Tyron Smith for the next decade with a mega-extension on Wednesday.

Appearing on Inside Training Camp Live, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said he would be "very surprised" if Bryant lands a new deal over the next month. Sources close to the situation have told Rapoport there has been no real progress in contract talks.

Conversely, NFL Media's Desmond Purnell relays that Jones states negotiations are ongoing with Bryant, adding, "We want Dez to be a Cowboy for life." Jones also says a new Bryant deal before a Smith one "wouldn't have surprised me ... We're working hard to do something with Dez."

NFL Media Columnist Michael Silver added during Training Camp Primetime that Jones is confident the Cowboys could work out a deal with Bryant quickly.

Due just $1.78 million, Bryant will be one of the NFL's most underpaid wide receivers after leading the league in touchdown receptions (25) over the past two seasons.

Although Bryant's early-career statistics dwarf those of Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, the Cowboys want to see their No. 1 receiver continue to exhibit increasing maturity before forking over a boatload of guaranteed money, Rapoport reported in May.

As long as Bryant maintains his average of at least 90 receptions, 1,200 yards and a dozen touchdowns, he will be paid like a top-five wide receiver next offseason.

In the meantime, the Cowboys are eager to see if a streamlined and extra-motivated Bryant can dethrone Calvin Johnson as the game's consensus premier wideout.

The latest Around The League Podcast talks about the good and bad out of Cowboys camp, then plays the "What's More Likely?" game.