Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrate after catching a pass for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys, Dez Bryant could sign long-term extension in training camp

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the league’s best wide receivers in Dez Bryant, and he is headed into the final year of his rookie contract. He is slated to make $1.78 million this year before being eligible for free agency, and the Cowboys could be looking to get a deal done before the season.

During a question and answer Twitter mailbag session with fans, ESPN’s Todd Archer listed training camp as a possible time frame for when a deal gets ironed out.

“Most often the Cowboys have gotten these deals done in training camp or early in the season,” Archer writes. “With Bryant entering the final year of his rookie contract, I would think that would remain true.”

It doesn’t come without hurdles though, the Cowboys have just $5.37 million in cap space, so signing him long-term could prove difficult. Aside from the tight financial situation the Cowboys are in, Bryant’s deal might not even be the first priority despite how talented he is.

“They don’t want him to go, but there is another factor to consider and that’s Tyron Smith’s future,” Archer wrote. “The Cowboys have picked up his fifth-year option, guaranteeing he will be with the team in 2015, but they want to sign him to a long-term deal. With him being just 23, that deal could take precedence.”

Archer also suggests that Brandon Marshall’s three-year, $30 million extension through 2018 with the Chicago Bears could be a bench mark for Bryant’s deal.

“To me, the structure of the deal is what will matter most,” Archer says. “Bryant will get his money, but I think the structure of it will be in the form of high base salaries as opposed to a big signing bonus and small base salaries.”

Also to consider is Bryant’s physical condition. Bryant said recently he is in the best shape of his life and at the young age of 25 that isn’t hard to believe.

“I am in the best shape that I’ve ever been,” Bryant said Tuesday, according to

“Trust me, I’ve been working hard,” Bryant added. “I’ve been working six days out of the week. Today is my off day, but I’m going to the facility right now. That’s all I’ve been doing. This year is special.”

If Bryant’s claims are true, and his production continues to grow and he has a “special” year as he promises, he could only drive up the price during the 2014 season putting the Cowboys in a worse situation than if they would’ve signed him to an extension before hand.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys

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