It was 26 years ago when Jerry Jones sat behind his desk at Valley Ranch and explained to me that “Deadlines Make Deals,’’ a phrase that is now a central part of Dallas Cowboys parlance.
But there is suddenly another reason for both sides to push for a Dez Bryant “Cowboys For Life’’ deal in advance of the July 15 deadline to move him from the one-year guaranteed franchise-tag deal of $12.83 million:
Dez’ agent Tom Condon needs a domino to fall.
Our man Shan Shariff on 105.3 The Fan reports that he's hearing whispers about “more than $100 million’’ and “$45 million guaranteed’’ for Bryant, arguably the game’s best receiver and a heart-and-soul Cowboy.
Starting to hear multiple whispers about imminent long-term deal for Dez. The numbers 100 and 45 tossed around but still working to confirm.— Shan Shariff (@1053SS) June 30, 2015
The principles I’m talking to aren’t willing to discuss those numbers in much detail (yet). But one source does tell me that the number of years still needs to be ironed out, and also that the guaranteed money can be misunderstood because there are “guarantees,’’ “upfront money’’ and “virtual guarantees’’ — and all those can still be points of contention. (KD Drummond here digs into the many Dez/Cowboys complications.)
We reported last Thursday of a “feel-good vibe’’ inside of Valley Ranch, the reason, as it turned out, was a face-to-face meeting between Condon and the Joneses.
We know about Dez’ devotion to the cause here, from him showing up at minicamp to him cooperating with NBC in filming TV bits for a season-opening game he’d previously told me he was considering boycotting, and over the weekend to his jovial participation in the communal event known as “Dirk Nowitzki’s Celebrity Baseball Game.’’
So to the dominoes:
Smart voices close to these talks say: Know that the super-agent Condon is working on a new deal not only for Dez, but also for Atlanta's Julio Jones. (Correction from our noting that Condon is with tagged receiver Demaryius Thomas of the Broncos.) Could a quick Thomas deal set the parameters for a Dez deal? Sure, but the Broncos are stubbornly unmovable in their talks. Could a quick Jones deal do that? Yes, but ...
The parties most itching to move are Dez and the Cowboys. A quick Dez deal set the parameters for other deals? There you go. The dominoes won’t likely feature Thomas falling first. So they must feature Dez — who so desperately wants to be with his team, and whose desperation and loyalty is shared by Jerry — as that first domino.
We've already drawn out an example of how this can work, using that same $100 mil number (spread over seven years, in this example):
Deadlines Make Deals. But agents need one deal done so they can do the other deal. I'm not prepared to issue a "prediction'' of today or tomorrow of this week. I just know that Condon and others has a lot of work to be completed by July 15. And that’s why the labor on Dez Bryant’s “Cowboys For Life’’ contract has been accelerated.