The Cowboys have said that at a certain point, they’ll “make a push” to sign Dez Bryant to a long-term deal.
This is the point where Bryant reminds them how valuable he is, in hopes of nudging that process along.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Bryant is “contemplating not reporting” for the regular season opener without a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline. Mortensen cites “sources familiar with the negotiation strategy,” which narrows the list of people for Jerry Jones to call considerably.
“I’m just not going to comment about that,” Bryant’s agent Tom Condon told Mortensen. “Our goal is still to get something done on a long-term basis by the deadline.”
The source suggested the option of “pulling an Emmitt Smith,” referring to the 1993 holdout of the Hall of Fame running back. An 0-2 start helped spark negotiations toward his long-term deal in the middle of their run of three Super Bowls.
Boycotting the opener would be a fairly bold play for a guy who has played nice, even showing up and doing some individual drills during OTAs despite the fact he doesn’t have a contract. Signing his franchise tender would guarantee him $12.823 million for the year, but a long-term deal will obviously dwarf that.
The Cowboys have reportedly not made a new proposal since Bryant changed agents, from Eugene Parker to Condon.