Speaking to the media today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he intends on wide receiver Dez Bryant being part of the club’s roster in 2018, but wouldn’t comment on a possible pay cut for the mercurial pass-catcher, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Bryant will turn 30 years old during the 2018 campaign, and is coming off a disappointing season in which he managed only 69 receptions, 838 yards, and six touchdowns, the third straight campaign in which Bryant has failed to top 1,000 yards receiving. He’s due a base salary of $12.5MM next year, so while Jones refused to touch the subject of a pay reduction, the topic figures to come up this offseason.
Here’s more from Dallas, with all links going to George’s Twitter account:
- While Bryant’s contract will be on the Cowboys’ docket over the next several months, the team’s “first goal” is to sign defensive end Demarcus Lawrence to a long-term extension, said executive vice president Stephen Jones (link). A multi-year pact is always preferable to the franchise tag from a team’s perspective thanks to the salary cap implications of each contract, but Lawrence holds all the leverage after a posting a 12.5-sack performance in 2017. A one-year franchise tender for the 25-year-old Lawrence will cost the Cowboys nearly $18MM.
- Jerry Jones confirmed reports that the Cowboys have re-signed running backs coach Gary Brown and hired the recently-retired Kellen Moore as the club’s quarterbacks coach (link). Both the Raiders and Texans expressed interest in hiring Brown this offseason, but Dallas had always maintained dialogue with the longtime coach, who joined the Cowboys in 2013. Moore, meanwhile, has a backer in Dallas offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who has called Moore a “machine” in terms of learning and communicating.
- The Cowboys are closing in on a deal to promote assistant special teams coach Keith O’Quinn to the lead role, per Jones (link). O’Quinn would replace Rich Bisaccia, who left Dallas to become an assistant head coach/special teams with Jon Gruden‘s Raiders. This was one of two possible outcomes, as reports had indicated O’Quinn would either be promoted to the full-time special teams role or take over as the Cowboys’ tight ends coach.