Thursday, February 20, 2014
No contract talks for Bryant, Smith
By Calvin Watkins
The Cowboys want to extend the contracts of wide receiver Dez Bryant and left tackle Tyron Smith, who are both coming off Pro Bowl seasons, but talks haven't occurred yet.
Bryant enters the final year of his contract and has said he wants to remain with the Cowboys forever. The Cowboys can place the franchise tag on Bryant for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. It was something the team did with defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Spencer in 2012 and 2013.
The Cowboys have an option to extend Smith's contract through the 2015 season. The option portion of Smith's deal must be enacted this spring. There are no indications so far that the Cowboys will do this.
Given the lack of salary-cap space, the Cowboys could use the option on Smith and extend Bryant with a five-year or six-year deal.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the players are not married to each other in terms of getting a deal at the same time.
"We'll look at them and make decisions individually," Jones said at the NFL scouting combine on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cowboys have several decisions to make regarding getting under the salary cap by March 11. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware could be released creating nearly $7.4 million in savings. The team could opt to restructure his contract as well.
Pay cuts are another possibility, and Ware has said he won't take one.
Quarterback Tony Romo, cornerback Brandon Carr and linebacker Sean Lee most likely will have their contracts restructured to create cap space.
So before the Cowboys can do anything with Bryant and Smith, they need to create salary-cap space.