The Dallas Cowboys are coming into the offseason with Dez Bryant as their main priority and now that he has been franchise tagged the team will try and work out a deal and this comes as DeMarco Murray is hitting the market and if he leaves, players like Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, Mark Ingram or Reggie Bush could be potential options to sign for Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys have their two top offensive players on the market this offseason, but by tagging Bryant the team is basically ensuring that they keep the wide receiver at least for another year. According to ESPN.com, the Cowboys tagged Bryant ahead of the Monday deadline and now can try and work out a long term deal with him until July. Bryant can sign the tag or holdout after that, but the months leading up to that could give the two sides enough time to work something out.
The Cowboys are letting DeMarco Murray hit the market after having a career season and now he could be wooed by money from another team. The Cowboys are content with letting him test the market, as many think that a running back with Murray's injury history will not get as much as he is looking for. That could help the Cowboys if they want to bring back Murray, but they appear ready to lose him.
According to the Dallas Morning News, if the team loses Murray, they may target Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore or Mark Ingram as potential options to replace him. Peterson could get released this year or traded, while Gore and Ingram are on the market and may not sign back with their current teams. Murray played in all 16 games last season, but that was the first time he had ever done that and he likely is due for some regression after touching the ball over 400 times last year.
There has been speculation that a video showing an incident involving Bryant is holding things up, but the Cowboys have come out to dispute that. According to Pro Football Talk, there is potentially a video out there that shows an incident at a Wal-Mart in Texas and it may or may not show Bryant in the video. While talk about the video is heavy in speculation, it has gained traction and many think it's one of the reasons why contract talks have been held up with the Cowboys.
Bryant said earlier in the season that he would be "disappointed" if he was tagged and now there is a chance he could skip workouts this spring. Ed Werder at ESPN.com writes that Bryant may stay away from OTAs and team activities this offseason while tagged.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys and Bryant do not have an issue with the video and that it is not what it holding up contract talks. Either way, Bryant has now been tagged and the Cowboys have to work out a long term deal with him or deal with the one year contract for $13 million. Bryant wants security and wants to get paid, but right now the two sides do not appear close on a deal.