LANDOVER, Md. - If Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has concerns about Dez Bryant's behavior off the field that could have delayed a contract extension for the Pro Bowl wide receiver, he has not told anybody.
According to a report in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, three Cowboys staffers said there is "concern" regarding Bryant's living arrangement, in which as many as 10 people might be living at his house.
Talks between the Cowboys and Bryant, who will be a free agent after the season, have been sporadic, especially since the receiver changed agents from Eugene Parker to Roc Nation in October.
The Cowboys intend to use the franchise tag on Bryant in March if they are unable to secure a long-term deal beforehand.
"Nobody in the world knows those issues but me and maybe [executive vice president Stephen Jones], relative to the Cowboys," Jones said after the Cowboys' 44-17 win over the Washington Redskins. "I noticed a lot of talk about 'people within the organization,' that type of thing. Nobody breathing or living, [not] any coach, anybody knows anything that would concern me or Stephen about signing him to a contract within the Cowboys organization. So anytime anybody says, quote, Cowboys sources, they don't know what they're talking about."
Jones said the main reason a deal has not been completed is simply the back-and-forth nature of any negotiation.
"I told you I'm not going to get into issues regarding any contract, but nobody knows what I'm worried about," Jones said. "And I don't know that I've ever signed a contract that I didn't have things to worry about, but nobody talked about them. You can't make business decisions, especially multimillion dollar business decisions without having a nice little worry list over on the right. Everybody does. So it's wrong to say that that is an issue. That's not an issue relative to overall getting it done. We just want to get it done."
The Cowboys and Bryant have worked under an agreed-upon set of rules to help the receiver avoid the off-field problems that plagued him his first few seasons. Jones said Bryant's growth in maturity has impressed him.
Bryant "unquestionably has evolved faster and more than normal people from the time that they came into the NFL to where he is today," Jones said. "He's evolved to the positive more so ... He's not the same guy the way he approaches the logical way he handles all of his issues. He's not the same guy as he was when he came into the league, and that's as it should be. He's older. He has more experience."