Jones: Cowboys must be smart

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Thursday he would like to sign receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray, the NFL's leading rusher, but getting long-term deals done with each will require creativity and compromise.

It's not that the Cowboys don't have the cap room to sign both -- it's that they don't want to be as snug against the NFL-mandated salary cap as they've been the past few seasons.

"It's going to be a challenge," Jones said. "Is it financially reasonable? No. Is it possible? Yes.

"But if you just looked at it from dollars and cents, it probably doesn't look reasonable. You have to figure out how you get there, but at the end of the day you realize it's going to be costly to have both of those players."

For now, Bryant seems to be the higher priority. He led the NFL with 16 touchdowns and had more than 1,200 yards receiving for the second consecutive season.

If the Cowboys can't reach a long-term agreement with Bryant, Jones has said they will use the franchise tag on him, which will pay the receiver about $12.5 million in 2015.

Murray's deal is trickier because he carried the ball a league-leading 392 times. History says running backs who carry the ball that much decline quickly. Jones doesn't want to get stuck with a declining player who has a huge salary.

Jones said he's not interested in restructuring a contract like quarterback Tony Romo's deal, which will count nearly $27 million for a luxury item. He would do that only for a player he thinks would put the Cowboys into the Super Bowl.

"In general, loading up on one player in an area that just requires good, solid consistency might not be the way to go," he said.

Jones also hinted that cornerback Brandon Carr, whose cap figure will be nearly $13 million, might be asked to take a pay cut.

"Carr played well the last month. I'm not as critical of him as some others, but that's a lot of money," Jones said. "One thing we've got to do in every way we can is get the value for the money."