Cowboys Dez 1-on-1: Says Boycott Idea 'Legit'
Dez Bryant tells me in a one-on-one visit that his contemplation of boycotting the Dallas Cowboys’ season-opening game is “Legit. It’s not bogus.’’
“And,’’ adds the All-Pro receiver seeking a “Cowboys-for-Life’’ long-time contract, "it could be longer than just the opener.’'
Cowboys COO Stephen Jones recently suggested the team will “make a push’’ to sign Bryant to a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline to do so. If no agreement can be reached by then, Bryant will remain under the franchise tag, which guarantees him $12.823 million for the year.
Bryant could be seeking something closer to $100 million over seven years.
It’s been suggested that Bryant might be “pulling an Emmitt Smith” by sitting out the start of the season, as the Hall-of-Fame running back did in Dallas in 1993. The difference: Smith and the Cowboys, under the system in place then, could continue to negotiate into the year. Dez, being franchised, cannot. Once July 15 passes, he’s locked in.
What he really gains here is unclear, unless he’s truly prepared to miss substantial time … and unless Jerry and Stephen Jones fold to the threat. It’s worth noting that there has been little acrimony to this point, Bryant even showing up for a couple of voluntary OTA workouts as a show of unity. In fact, I can stack up an assortment of signs of respect between the parties. Here's COO Stephen Jones telling us about this final month using works like "push'' and "progress.'' Here's Dez calling La'el Collins to vouch for Jerry Jones "having our backs.'' I can also note that contrary to ESPN's report on this subject, the Cowboys and Bryant were indeed so close to a deal in October that the ancillary paperwork to a contract was being drawn up inside Valley Ranch.
So not all of this sudden development makes sense to me (as I write at length here, with Top 10 Issues) ... for instance:
He’ll volunteer to show up to practices without a contract in the spring … but would consider missing game checks worth $755,000 in the fall?
“I’m serious,’’ Bryant tells me. And right now, "seriousness'' is an angle just as importance as "sense.''
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