OXNARD, CA – Defensive end Jeremy Mincey spent the first few days of camp at odds with the Dallas Cowboys. In his first day back with the team, he was back to his team-leading, peace-making ways once again.
Mincey was one of the bystanders trying to break up the heated fight between Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon in Sunday afternoon’s practice, an event that seemed to steal the headlines of Mincey’s return.
But that’s the role of Mincey that gets somewhat unnoticed at times as he became one of the team leaders in his first season.
Mincey and the Dallas Cowboys came together Sunday morning to end the veteran’s contract holdout. Although Mincey didn’t get more years added to the end of his two-year deal that expires after the season, he did get an additional $500,000 added, pushing his base salary to $2 million. Last year, Mincey came up short on an extra $500,000 in a playing-time bonus that he missed by 11 snaps.
“I’m happy to be a Cowboys and happy to be here,” Mincey said. “I think it’s fair for me and my family. It’s clear I wanted to be a Cowboy. You get tired of your kids switching schools and going from city to city. I’m tired of that. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I’m happy to be a Cowboy.”
Now Mincey didn’t get an additional year, so he’ll be a free-agent at the end of the season unless the two sides agree on an extension.
“I’m here for the year. Hopefully we’ll see what the future holds,” Mincey said. “I’m excited about the future. I think I’ve got a lot of football left in me.”
Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, who met with Mincey in the morning, said he’s glad something could be worked out.
“No one ever likes the business (side) of football,” Jones said. “The fans don’t like to hear about it. The players don’t like it. I don’t blame them. Unfortunately it’s a part of it. Jeremy obviously was concerned about his business and I respect that. He made a good decision to come in here and we got everything worked out.”
Mincey led the Cowboys in sacks last year with six, and was a valuable member of the defense during the playoff run.
Mincey said he decided to sit out about a week before the start of camp, saying he just simply had to stand up for his decision.
“If I can get out here and fight for my teammates, it’s a no-brainer for me to fight for my family,” Mincey said. “Somebody has to be brave enough to do what they have to do for their family. I’m here now. Everything is good.”
There’s no doubt that Mincey deserved to be paid more than the $1.5 million he was expecting in 2015. Now that he’s in camp, they’ll continue working toward a new deal.
“It’s good to have him here — it was a good conversation,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told reporters. “We’ll see how he’s doing. He has to pass a physical and we’ll ease him into practice.”