With receiver Dez Bryant threatening to skip regular-season games in order to get the kind of long-term deal he thinks he deserves (and he does), the Cowboys don’t seem to think he’ll go through with it.
A day after COO Stephen Jones said the gap between what the player wants and what the team wants to pay is too wide to strike a long-term deal, owner/G.M. Jerry Jones expressed certainty that Bryant will be present for Week One.
“I have no doubt that he’ll be leading the way against the Giants,” Jerry Jones said Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News.
It’s a polite and succinct way of saying that Jones thinks Bryant is bluffing about missing games. And Bryant very well could be simply pretending to be willing to miss games.
While he can skip all of training camp and the preseason and lose only his per diem, Bryant doesn’t lose a dime of his $12.8 million franchise-tag salary until he fails to show up for the games that count. Then, the losses come at the rate of $752,941.17 for each game missed.
NFL work stoppages typically fail because players don’t want to lose game checks. In this specific case, the Cowboys are banking on Bryant not wanting to miss a single trip to the bank.
Which means that Bryant needs to get the team to take him seriously, before the July 15 deadline for doing a long-term deal. Which means that Bryant needs to speak in absolutes, not threats.
Even then, there’s no guarantee the Cowboys will believe him. For now, they definitely don’t.