The Dallas Cowboys officially applied the franchise tag to wide receiver Dez Bryant Monday afternoon, according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio.
Wide receivers playing under the franchise tag in 2015 will earn guaranteed $12.823 million, an average of the top five salaries at the position, NFL.com's Ian Rappaport reported.
The Cowboys and Bryant could still work out a long-term deal, but Monday's move prevents Bryant from hitting the free agent market.
Bryant led the NFL with a club-record 16 touchdowns in the final year of a rookie contract that paid $11.8 million over five years.
The 26-year-old Bryant was the fastest Dallas player to 300 career receptions and second-fastest to 50 touchdowns behind Bob Hayes.
Bryant has indicated several times that being tagged would make him unhappy.
The Cowboys also have to decide whether to re-sign running back DeMarco Murray after he had a league-leading 1,845 yards rushing in the final year of his contract. He becomes a free agent March 10.