ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Bryant has not signed the $12.83 million franchise-tag tender offered to him by the Cowboys. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a deal.
Apparently, Bryant is attempting to take a similar route to Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. Smith missed the first two games of the 1993 season (both of which resulted in Cowboys’ losses) before getting a new contract and helping the Cowboys win a Super Bowl that season and establish a dynasty.
However, due to the collective bargaining agreement, Bryant’s only options are to either reach that deal or to not play at all.
Why the Cowboys Should be Careful
Evidence has shown time and time again that as soon as players in just about any sport get their money, their production just decides to go on a vacation that could last up to years or maybe never return at all. Sometimes athletes just can’t seem to overcome the injury bug once they get their money, but other times, some athletes seem to think their struggle is over when they get a payday. It can be an ugly situation with both sides (team and player) ending their relationship with regret.
Remember that guy Albert Haynesworth, the defensive tackle that essentially ‘robbed’ a football team when he signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins back in 2009. The list goes on and on for players that just disappear from the face of the Earth after getting their money, but I decided to name Haynesworth because his situation was the most memorable and most egregious one to me.
Why the Cowboys Need Dez
Dez Bryant has consistently been a productive member of the Cowboys since his arrival back in 2010. He has been a 1000-yard receiver for three seasons now and has already become Tony Romo’s favorite target beside reliable and sure-handed Jason Witten. I mean Romo threw the football deep to him in a 4th & 1 situation in the fourth quarter of an NFC Championship game. If that isn’t trust or chemistry, then what is?
Also, it’s no secret that the Cowboys’ rushing attack this upcoming season is questionable at best. With the signing of injury-prone Darren McFadden and a plethora of other running backs on the roster as well, the Cowboys are desperately looking for a replacement to DeMarco Murray who was arguably their best player last season as well as the reason why the Cowboys even had a shot at the playoffs.
Lastly, Dez Bryant is a once-in-a-generation wide receiver. He wears the number #88 for a reason and it isn’t because he likes the way it is placed on a Cowboys jersey. It is because greats like Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin have worn the number before him. He has carried the proverbial torch and has lived up to the number. He is also the most explosive player on the team and has single-handedly kept Romo’s career intact.
Neither side wants to part ways so they need to do everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen and fast because July will be here sooner than they think.