The Dallas Cowboys are hopeful to get a contract done with Dez Bryant this offseason and heading into training camp it looks like a holdout is off the table for now, as he has attended OTA workouts and this comes as Joseph Randle could have the edge to start over Darren McFadden for Tony Romo this season.
The Cowboys come into the workout part of the offseason with Bryant as the biggest question mark, as he is still unsigned. The team used the franchise tag on Bryant and he can agree to a one year deal for nearly $13 million, or the sides can agree on a long term deal. According to ESPNDallas.com, Bryant showed up to OTA workouts last week and participated in some of the session in individual drills with the coaching staff.
Leading into the end of the month of May the two sides reportedly did not have any meaningful talks, but Bryant showing up to camp is an important sign. It could mean that the sides are working in good faith to get a deal done and Todd Archer at ESPN reports that the two sides have until July 15 to work out a long term deal. The Dallas Morning News reported last month that the Cowboys were being patient about a contract and "not worried" about if he would stay away during offseason workouts.
Clearly Bryant showed up and some reports have said that Bryant will not sign a deal until Julio Jones and/or Demaryius Thomas sign and that could push things into the summer. ESPN Dallas reports that the Cowboys want an "off field structure" to "limit risk" for the team in a long term deal for Bryant. Archer writes that a deal likely will have $40M guaranteed and that number could give the Cowboys pause with some of the off the field issues that Bryant has had.
Bryant has been a good citizen over the past couple years and he has clearly been one of the best wide receivers in football. Last season Bryant had 88 catches for 1320 yards and 16 touchdowns to give him 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons. In 2013-14 Bryant had back to back seasons with at least 92 catches and 1230 yards and he also put up 25 touchdowns in that span. Keeping Bryant is a priority and if the team doesn't sign him to a long term deal, the wideout may come in on the one year franchise tag contract and play out things into next year.
The Cowboys are coming into training camp with a competition at running back, as the team has McFadden coming in after signing as a free agent to join Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams on the roster. The team could sign a free agent after working out Ben Tate, Daniel Thomas and Felix Jones, but right now the roster is sticking with the current RBs.
According to the Dallas Morning News, there is a chance that Randle could start over McFadden this season in Week 1 at least, as he is more familiar with the Cowboys offense. Randle has shown some flashes during the past two seasons and last year he averaged over six yards per carry on 51 carries out of the backfield.