Jason Garrett compares Dez Bryant to Michael Irvin

Dez Bryant recently claimed that he deserves to become one of the NFL's highest-paid wide receivers.

He's not going to get any disagreement from coach Jason Garrett, who compared Bryant to Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin on Monday.

"I have a great fondness for Michael Irvin. I had the good fortune of playing with Michael for eight years," Garrett said. "Michael Irvin set the pace and the tempo for our team all throughout the 90s. He worked harder than anybody else. And Dez Bryant has a lot of those same traits."

After four seasons, Bryant boasts 293 catches for 4,104 yards and 40 touchdowns compared to 171 receptions, 2,968 yards and 20 touchdowns for Irvin over the same period in his career.

Garrett also lauded Bryant's hands as the best he's ever seen and complimented the contract-year wideout for his "passion" for football and diligence in becoming a better player.

Two offseasons ago, Bryant was viewed as too high risk to ever land a second contract in Dallas. Now there's speculation the Cowboys will resort to the franchise tag if necessary next year.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said over the weekend that a long-term extension for Bryant is a "possibility" before the start of the 2014 season.

"You know, if that was to happen (a deal done before the season), that would be great," Bryant said Monday, via the team's official website. "I'm still going to go out there and perform at a high level, because that's how I work. It will take care of itself."

For all of the hand-wringing over Bryant's perceived character concerns, his early-career numbers are on a Hall of Fame pace. That's going to get him paid like a top-tier receiver this year or next.

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