Dez Bryant believes he has earned the right to rank among the NFL's highest-paid wide receivers and hopes to sign a long-term contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys before the season begins.

"Yeah, I deserve it," Bryant told ESPNDallas.com. "I deserve it. I feel like I do. I put the work in, but I let that kind of stuff take care of itself. It is what it is. I let my agent talk about it and give me some feedback."

Bryant said his agent, Eugene Parker, has had preliminary talks with the Cowboys regarding a contract extension. Bryant is due to make $1.78 million in salary and a $250,000 workout bonus this year, the final season of his rookie contract.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has declined to publicly discuss his thoughts on a potential extension for Bryant other than to make it clear that he considers the receiver one of the franchise's foundation pieces for the foreseeable future.

The Cowboys have a history of giving extensions to core players before they enter the final season of their contract.

Chicago's Brandon Marshall signed a three-year, $30 million extension last week that made him the seventh wide receiver that has a contract with an average annual value of at least $10 million, joining Detroit's Calvin Johnson, Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, Seattle's Percy Harvin, Miami's Mike Wallace, Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe and Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson.