- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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OXNARD, Calif. -- Receiver Dez Bryant had one request before taking questions from the media Sunday afternoon.
Actually, it was more of a demand.
“Hey, no one ask about the contract,” Bryant said. “Just letting y’all know. Now let’s roll.”
Bryant’s job is to focus solely on football. He has an agent, Eugene Parker, to focus on finances.
The Dallas Cowboys and Parker have engaged in discussions about a new deal for Bryant, who is due to be paid $1.78 million, but the sides aren’t close to coming to an agreement.
The Cowboys’ decision-makers, who have the possibility of using the franchise tag to keep their Pro Bowl receiver the next two years, have made it clear they don’t plan on allowing Bryant to go anywhere. Mum is the word from Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones on money.
Bryant has made it clear that he’d like to sign his contract extension before the season starts and believes he should be among the five highest paid receivers in the league, putting him in the $12 million per year range. It does him no good to comment about the matter any further until a deal is done unless he wants to try to force the Cowboys’ hand by publicly expressing displeasure with the negotiations.
For now, Bryant is willing to be patient and let his play speak for itself. He’s focusing on the things he can control, such as attempting to set a tone for the team with his relentless passion and upbeat attitude.
“It’s pride and confidence,” Bryant said. “You’ve got to play with that. I honestly feel like the best teams do. Now they expect greatness. The thing about that is you’ve got to expect it out of yourself. It’s the only way you can come out here and play at a high level.
“You’ve got to know that you’re good at something, at least think that you are, and then it’ll happen. It will.”
A deal for Bryant will happen at some point, too. When it does, he’ll be happy to talk about it.