Dez Bryant went on Twitter Monday to confirm reports that he plans to hold out of training camp and is prepared to miss regular season games if he doesn’t get a long-term contract before Wednesday’s deadline for franchise tagged players to sign them.
The Cowboys haven’t seemed too worried about the possibility of Bryant following through on those threats at earlier points this offseason, but they’ll have to at least plan for the possibility that Bryant won’t be on the field when they face the Giants in Week One. A big part of those plans will be third-year wideout Terrance Williams, who caught 37 passes and eight touchdowns last year.
“He’s not only taken a tremendous leadership role in the group, really setting the example of how you do things, he’s expanded his route inventory,” wide receivers coach Derek Dooley said last month, via ESPNDallas.com. “He’s played X. He’s played Z. He’s played in the slot and every day he went out there and was the same player. Every route, every opportunity he had he took advantage of it. So he’s made a big jump this offseason.”
Williams would have to a giant leap to give the Cowboys what they’d lose without Bryant on the field and it’s unlikely the rest of the receiving corps could make the gains the team would need to keep the offense operating at the same level. With Bryant, though, an improved Williams will see plenty of advantageous matchups that Dallas can try to take advantage of this fall.