Cowboys Seem Content to Keep Franchise Tag on Bryant

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The Cowboys want to sign Dez Bryant to a long-term contract. But, let’s be honest, they don’t need to sign him to a long-term contract.

With OTAs done and the July 15 deadline for the star receiver to reach a deal or settle for the franchise tag fast approaching, it appears he’ll play in 2015 under the one-year, $12.8 million contract terms.

Without Bryant at OTAs, Devin Street lined up as a starting receiver. As scary as that proposition is, I don’t worry about Bryant. With his warrior work ethic, you know he’s going to be in shape even if he isn’t working out daily at Valley Ranch. Even though he briefly grumbled about “commitment” in the wake of being franchised, he’s shown up a time or two to work out with his teammates.

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Hoping for a long-term, $100 million-ish deal that would make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid receivers, Bryant has yet to sign his franchise-tag offer. He has until a month from now. And he will sign it. Because I don’t see why the Cowboys have to compromise at this point.

There will be conversations and maybe even negotiations to get a deal done, but it feels like the Cowboys are fully prepared to franchise Bryant. Even though they covet Bryant’s ability, they’re shrewdly not going to break the bank for him. Instead, they’ll use one of their salary-cap tools.

It’s a change in the way the Cowboys look at contracts. And it’s for the better.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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