If Cowboys Are Smart, Decision on Bryant's Future Coming This Week

Bryant won't be with the Cowboys next season unless he takes a lot less money than the $12.5 million he's scheduled to earn

Dez Bryant's future with the Cowboys has been unresolved since club vice president Stephen Jones said the receiver's contract needed to be addressed several weeks ago.

We all know Jones wasn't talking about giving Bryant a raise.

This would seem to be a good week for Jerry Jones to finally meet with Bryant, discuss their business and come away with a decision.

That's because the Cowboys' voluntary team workouts begin on Monday. A smart organization would not want Bryant to show up for workouts with his status on the roster in question.

They wouldn't want him answering the inevitable questions from his teammates about his status and they shouldn't want the potential of any negativity affecting the other players.

"Dez is on our football team," Jason Garrett said. "Again, we talked about some of the moves we've made at the receiver position, and they're designed to create competition there. We think that's going to help everybody on our team.''

Just because Bryant is on the team doesn't mean he will be on the team a month from now.

Thus, the never-ending stream of questions about Bryant's status on the Cowboys. Every time a member of the front office publicly discusses Bryant's tenure it's accompanied by a qualifier.

This much we know: Bryant won't be with the Cowboys next season unless he takes a lot less money than the $12.5 million he's scheduled to earn.

Now, the Cowboys could tell Bryant to shop his services around the league and being back a figure they might choose to match.

But there's also a certain faction of the front office that's ready to move on from Bryant. At times, Bryant has been petulant. He can be combustible.

His passion, as coach Jason Garrett loves to call it, has been a distraction at times, according to Stephen Jones.

They wonder how Bryant will respond to adversity at a lower salary. Will he pout. Or sulk.

Will his charismatic personality create friction between players and coaches? There's trepidation on both sides. Each has some fear of life without the other.

Bryant's teammates remain in the middle.

"I stay out of it. I don't know anything about it. I don't think anyone knows anything about it," center Travis Frederick said. "We just go on like things are. That's what we do. Whatever happens, happens. Obviously, I love Dez. I love him as a teammate. I love him as a person. I just wish him the best and hope everything gets settled."

You have to remember the Cowboys tried hard to sign free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins, and they were willing to pay him close to $16 million.

So the Cowboys have already proved their willing to move on from Bryant. The question is whether the Cowboys still feel that way since they missed out on Watkins.

If the Cowboys are smart, they'll answer that question before offseason workouts begin in six days.

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