2015 Checklist: Show Dez the Money


Anyone who tells you they expected to the Cowboys to win 13 games, including a playoff game, in 2014 when the season began is a liar. Now, what do the Cowboys have to do to repeat their success in 2015?

What to do: Make Dez a happy camper

There is all kinds of talk that the Dallas Cowboys are going to place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant out of concern for his off-field issues and handing out a big-money contract to a guy that is, God love him, still a bit of a head case.

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But you want to know what happens if you do that? Bryant doesn't show up for to training camp and is playing mad until he's given a new deal, which at that point, would be much harder to get done. So here's the No. 1 priority for this Cowboys offseason: Lock up Bryant to a long-term contract.

Bryant is a true stud. Think of him as a legitimate ace starting pitcher in baseball, of which there are probably less than 10 in the entire league. The list of wide receivers in the NFL better and more dominant than Bryant might start with Calvin Johnson, and probably ends there.

The Cowboys have their star wideout to last them for another decade, and he wants to be a Cowboy. He just wants to be compensated fairly in relation to his talent, and that means paying him top dollar for an NFL wide receiver. It might be hard to swallow, but it makes sense, and when he catches 16 more touchdown passes like he did in 2014, you'll feel great about it, trust me.

If it's between bringing back Dez and bringing back DeMarco Murray, and it probably is, you have to go with Bryant. Plain and simple.

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