The standoff, it seems, has come to a head. Dez Bryant wants a long-term contract, but the Dallas Cowboys don’t want to give it – at least not yet.
Well, if the Cowboys don’t give it soon, Bryant, according to a tweet posted Monday afternoon, will not be at training camp and could sit out regular-season games.
The deadline for both sides to reach a deal is Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
“Guys, there are so many layers to this onion, and each layer causes more tears if you’re a Cowboys fan,” Dallas 105.3 radio host Jeff “Skin” Wade said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Dez Bryant is probably the most talented guy on the roster. You got to have him. After 15 years of letdown and disappointment, last year was beyond expectations, and obviously Dez was a huge part of that. And you guys know it’s not good NFL business to franchise a player because you don’t get the long-term cap benefit of doing that.”
With Bryant, however, it’s not that simple.
“With Dez, there’s two main issues,” Wade said. “No. 1, Stephen Jones, as quiet as it’s kept, he’s running the team. Yeah, Jerry’s still the face, but Stephen Jones makes the decisions, especially the financial ones. He doesn’t want to be the guy out there setting the wide receiver market, which is why there’s been all that collusion talk with the Cowboys and Broncos and Demaryius Thomas and Dez.”
So that’s one layer. There’s also the agent layer.
“Remember, Dez changed agencies in October,” Wade reminded listeners. “He went form Eugene Parker to Rocnation, more of an unknown. The Cowboys have done a jillion deals with Eugene Parker. There’s this idea that there’s Dez rules in place, and if you sign Dez to a long-term deal, the Cowboys have a safety net – like Dez insurance. ‘Hey, if you get in trouble here or get in trouble there, then we get some relief on the contract.’ Well, now that Dez is with a new agency, it’s harder for the Cowboys to negotiate that, because Rocnation and Tom Condon and those people aren’t on board with that.
“So not only do you have the Cowboys not wanting to set the wide receiver market,” Wade continued, “(but) they (also) want to make sure there’s some sort of insurance in there for Dez. And in the middle of all this is all the Cowboys fans going, ‘I don’t care about all this CBA and contract stuff. Just get Dez Bryant on the field.’ And Dez’s tweet yesterday just made everything come to a head. These next 24 hours here in Dallas are going to be really intense.”
But what if the deadline passes and no deal is reached? What would happen?
“I think Dez will go haywire for about three weeks,” Wade said. “He’ll be very emotional. We’ll see a lot of tweets – negative tweets. I would almost liken it to when Adrian Peterson went off on Twitter for about five hours on a Friday and then showed up to Minnesota Vikings camp on Monday. The reality of it is, Dez will personalize it. It’s not personal. It’s about the way the NFL is structured and the franchise tag and all those things the Cowboys have working for them. They’ve got all the leverage.
“But keep in mind, that $12.8 franchise tag – even though it’s not going to (include) the giant signing bonus and $50 million guaranteed, it’s still more money than Dez has made in his entire NFL career. So if you want to believe the stories . . . that he’s got 10 guys (mooching) off him and he’s gone through all his money, if he’s going to pull the leverage he thinks he has and start sitting out games, he’s walking away from $750,000 a week. I just don’t see how financially he can do that.
“He’s going to be unhappy, but ultimately, Dez loves his teammates. He loves to play football. And once the season starts, he will go and he will take care of his business and hope to get it rectified next season.”