Cowboys seem to be willing to call Dez Bryant’s bluff


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.

78 responses to “Cowboys seem to be willing to call Dez Bryant’s bluff

  1. So, if he misses a game and his yearly salary then becomes $12.2M. If the Cowboys tag him again next year at 20% higher, does the 20% increase go against the $13M or the $12.2M.

    That would be difference of $15.6M on full year vs $14.6M franchise tag next year.

    Might him missing a game or two benefit Cowboys next year too since they save $750k this year and $1M next year?

  2. “Our offensive line is so good we don’t need receivers.”

    – Close Friends of the Organization
    Gosh man that was almost funny 4 weeks ago when someone else started to do it. Oh wait no it wasn’t

  3. Unfortunately all he can do is sit out camp and preseason and return for week 1. It would be hard for a competitor like him to do but I would risk losing that much money.

  4. A guy who is gonna make 750k+ per game x 16 that wants security is like an eskimo that wants ice. But that’s the rich for ya.

  5. For example, if dex put ONE game check into an average savings account, it would make him 46k/yr. Think about that.

  6. Those offensive line rookie contracts are going to expire every year and all those No. 1 picks are going to want to get paid. Jerruh has to be cautious because the meat of Dez’s new contract will fall right in those years. One thing Jerruh does understand is that keeping that line intact means success. Losing some to FA because you blow the bank on one player and handcuff yourself is a ticket to mediocrity.

  7. why do him like that? he’ll show up for wk 1 no doubt and play the season but he’s not gonna wanna come back and sign a deal after the season

  8. Are they allowed to skip some games and not others? Could he skip all the away games only and still get paid for home games?

  9. The Cowboys are almost as cheap as my Packers when it comes to low-balling players other then my china doll QB.

  10. Jerry Jones:

    “I have no doubt that he’ll be leading the way against the Giants,”


    “Give up a 750K game check?” , He’s at least 2 million in debt.”

  11. This is what happens when you have to invest big money in someone you don’t trust.

  12. As the deadline for signing comes closer (it is still a month away), there will be more motivation for compromise by both sides. It is very early. I’m less interested in what both sides “might do.”

  13. I don’t like the Cowboys, but Dez can sit in the corner and rot and not get paid a dime, and be back at the same position next year.
    Does he forget that the Cowboys took a chance on this Bozo coming out of college?

    With that offensive line, I think the Cowboys shouldn’t lift a finger for Bryant, don’t cave Jerry. Let him pout, bet the house he’ll be there for opening day.

  14. In fairness to the Jones, each team has only so much money to go around. When teams become highly competitive, it’s very difficult to keep everyone. We see that with the Patriots and Seahawks. They have to let players go for salary cap reasons that otherwise they would keep. At some point those top tier O- lineman are going to want to be paid accordingly also.

  15. Jerry Jones said he’s talked to Dez Bryant in last two weeks. Jerry said he has “no doubt” Dez will be leading the way in season opener. – Dallas Morning News

  16. The franhise tag is a godsend to Bryant. He isn’t worth it. He’d be doing good to break off negotiations completely and just go with the tag from day one.

  17. I’m not saying this because I’m a Giants fan….indeed, I think Eli should hold out as well (playing on a 1 year deal when the success or failure of the team depends on you is asinine)….but Dez should absolutely say that if I do not have a long term deal done by July 15, you will not see me until week 10.

    Please….whiny posters crying poverty, please stay away. Let this be a big boy argument thread. Nobody wants to hear that you can live off the interest on $13M or he should play “for the love of the game.” Grow up

  18. You guys are such clowns, so now Dez “deserves” a new deal when just a month ago you were trying to get him run out of the league with your Walmart tape you talked about for a week which we all know now never existed.

  19. Not a smart move by the organization. Dez is one player that is actually loony enough to skip Game 1 to prove his point.

    The Cowboys have to know they aren’t dealing with a level headed individual.

  20. Since the deadline to sign a long term deal is July 15, missing Game 1 will do nothing to further his cause because it will be too late to get a new deal. If he follows through with the threat, it will only be punitive to the Cowboys for not getting a deal done, and to him by missing a game check. It makes no sense to miss a game at that point. Maybe if negotiations were still in play, but not in this situation.

  21. 13MM for this year – that’s all?
    How is the guy supposed to feed his family on that?

    I’m siding with Dez on this – the cowboys should pay him what he thinks he’s worth, 25MM/year,

    signed – A Giants fan

  22. $752,941.17 – That is a lot of cheddar. Take out an insurance policy and get your butt to camp you bum.

  23. Get him a real QB like Dalton and he’ll soar. With AJ and Dez, Dalton would be arguably the best ever.

  24. Technically he can miss 10 games before he has to show up and it will still count towards an accrued completed season. That’s a lot of money to miss though…

  25. Not attending training camp and workouts won’t affect an All Universe player like Dez. He could out there with his shoes tied together and out play anybody in the NFL. He Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Training Camp”. He is that good. Really.

  26. “I have no doubt that he’ll be leading the way against the Giants,” Jerry Jones said

    …or this simply means he expects a deal to be done by then.

  27. Jerry Jones is the only owner who would call a guy willing to walk out on his teammates a “leader.”

  28. till3r says:
    Jun 17, 2015 3:14 PM
    Its amazing how Megatron never had to use his mouth to become the highest paid WR. Coaches dream WR.

    Post of the day! So true!

  29. Remember when he attacked and threatened his own mother? And somehow this scumbag deserves more than 13 mil to play a game..

  30. Here’s an idea:
    What if he DOES show up but “dogs” it?
    You know, not run at full speed or short arms a pass, or even misses a blocking assignment?
    What do you do then?
    You’d have to PROVE that he did it on purpose and at that point you alienate the team against said player.

    Good luck Jerry; you’ve got a bonafied pyscho on your hands!

  31. Serious question: Let’s say Bryant skips everything and shows up the day before the game. If Dallas decides not to sign him right then, does that immediately make him a free agent? Does Dallas has a grace period to evaluate when it makes sense to sign him, or would it be “now or never” at that moment?

  32. adimuz95 says:

    Remember when he attacked and threatened his own mother? And somehow this scumbag deserves more than 13 mil to play a game..

    Sigh. Bryant was having an argument with his mother about what “he owed her”, apparently for giving birth to him then going out and hooking and smoking crack. When he said he didn’t owe her anything she grabbed at his gold chain necklace and he slapped her hands away with the baseball cap in his hand. She called police and got her money.

    THAT WAS IT. That was the big “Beating up his mom” that everyone ran with. I’m out in California and I was able to get the true story even here. It’s not that hard.

  33. bobonmycob says:
    Jun 17, 2015 3:35 PM
    giants fans: You deserve so much more Dez. Keep holding out bro!
    Eagles fans: Goodell, you should increase Brady’s suspension through week 13. That’ll teach him!

  34. To you dummies saying he won’t give up $700K a week…..If he holds out til week 10 and loses $7M, his next demand starts at $7M more than he’s asking right now, which puts that $$ right back in his pocket. Man you people are naive. I wish I could negotiate against you all for whatever.

  35. I 100% guarantee that if Dez doesn’t get his, he will sit out games. He is a HARDHEAD. He’ll walk on $ until he gets his and when he DOES get paid he will more then make up for the $ he lost. The problem for Dez is no contract is guaranteed. That signing bonus will be HUGE though and he knows it.

  36. I hope they cowboys stick to their guns here. Dez is a guy they have had to assign a personal assistant to so he won’t do something else stupid off the field. Let him walk and become somebody else’s problem.

  37. I get the people saying that he’s already making $12.8, but you gotta remember that this is $12.8 of one year security vs. $50 mil of long term security. Basically if he comes and plays on the tag and suffers a career ending injury or one that greatly diminishes who he is on the field, he will lose $37.2 million. I know that we could all make due for the rest of our lives with $12,8, but if I was in his position I would also be going after that extra $37.2 guaranteed

  38. If the report that Dez wants $17 million per year, the Cowboys are better off franchising him this year and even next year. That would cost the Cowboys about $28 million for the two seasons. I don’t believe Dez will hold out much if at all. And Dez will play his tail off to guarantee a big payday later.

    As a sidebar, this actually reinforces for me to never draft an off field concern guy in the first round. If he busts, you look stupid. If he succeeds, you may hesitate to give him a lot of guaranteed money. I know Dez has publicly stayed out of trouble lately and he gives 110% on the field, but I would want safeguards in a contract to protect me from a big hit in case he goes sideways. And while Calvin Johnson got that mega deal which Dez wants, CJ has not been worth it and imo, no receiver is worth that much money.

  39. Jerruh is so confident in his running game that he has had every running back in for a look except John Ritchie!!!!!!! What do you think kept Romo relatively healthy last year? It wasn’t the offensive line, it was Murray and Bryant!!!! Dez wants to get paid like Megatron and Fitz, and Dallas wants to pay him like a Randall Cobb slot. Wake up Dallas, the window IS closing.

  40. So what is Dez’s agents cut of his salary. Does he still get a full cut of the full contract regardless of how many games he sits out. Let’s say he gets 10 percent . That would be over 1.2 mil out of his salary he is not making. Maybe I’m way off on 10 percent but with all his other obligations he can’t afford to sit out too long.

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