Bryant signed the $70 million deal on Wednesday, just in time to beat the NFL's 4 p.m. deadline the sides had to reach an agreement on a long-term extension. They would not have been able to resume negotiations until after the season. The Cowboys franchise-tagged Bryant in March, but he wanted a long-term deal and had reiterated publicly that he was willing to sit out regular-season games without one.
“I just want to hug your neck. I’m so proud,” said Jones, who was calling from New York. “Congratulations. Let’s just win five Super Bowls in a row, how about it?”
“Yes sir, why not?” Bryant answered. “Yes sir, we are. I'm excited ... I cannot wait. I think this is the year. We got it.”
The Cowboys went 12–4 last season and won the NFC East. They beat the Detroit Lions in the wild card round of the playoffs before falling to the Green Bay Packers in a game that ended controversially after a potential last-minute touchdown catch by Bryant was ruled incomplete.
Dallas last won a Super Bowl in 1995, capping a four-year run that saw the Cowboys lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy three times.
- Molly Geary