Jerry Jones: Dez Bryant does some things better than Calvin Johnson

Detroit’s Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver in the NFL and Jerry Jones won’t argue with that.

But Dez Bryant continues to improve and is putting up numbers very similar to Johnson’s through seven weeks of play, averaging around 80 yards and a touchdown per outing. The Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager said Tuesday that Bryant has a chance to be the league’s best.

“I think Johnson at Detroit is got to be the best receiver – or best end target, if you want to put it like that – best guy to go to right now in the league,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “Dez can aspire to be that and has a chance to be that. Dez does some things better than he does. But the guy has great size.”

The one difference Jones pointed out between the two is Johnson’s unique ability to catch jump balls in traffic. He did so Sunday with three defenders draped over him. Bryant fell short on a similar opportunity before halftime in Philadelphia.

“In our ballgame the other day, on the Hail Mary, you can’t set it up better, you can’t be in better position to make that play,” Jones said. “And Dez can time that ball a little better and we score right at the half. Well, my picture of Johnson is that, boy, he’s sitting down there and he’s got that great extra height, that great extra reach and it just seems like he makes those kinds of plays. Having said that, you may have one and two of the top receivers in the league right there.”

Bryant will likely get a contract extension in the near future. But will Jones pay him like the 6-5, 235-pounder? In March 2012, the Lions made Johnson, 28, the highest-paid wide receiver in the league by signing him to an eight-year, $132 million contract extension with $60 million guaranteed.

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota