Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys are not on good terms at the moment. Bryant touts himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL and is ready to get paid as such. Bryant was forced into a franchise tag after he and the Cowboys failed to negotiate a contract extension. As a result, Bryant has yet to appear at practice for the franchise and could extend that holdout into the season which may force Dallas to look at other receiving options.
The Cowboys cannot afford to lose Bryant and he knows it. So while negotiations for a contract extension are not going well, Bryant is making the team see what life would be like without him. According to NFL Insider Chris Mortensen via ESPN.com, Bryant is threatening to extend his holdout into the regular season if he and the Cowboys do not come to terms on a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline.
"This is no rumor; it's legit," Bryant said, via the NFL Network. His agent, Tom Condon followed that up by saying, ""I'm just not going to comment about that. Our goal is still to get something done on a long-term basis by the deadline."
Bryant is at the mercy of the market right now. Team vice president Stephen Jones has made it clear that it will be difficult to get the receiver signed to a new contract while other players like Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones and AJ Green remained unsigned as well. No one has stepped up to set the market yet and the Cowboys do not appear ready to be the first ones to pull the trigger. As a result, Bryant is holding out.
The absence of the No.1 receiver could force the Cowboys to sign someone off the free agent market even if it is just for training camp. There are some quality additions that can be made to the roster as several veteran players remain available. Wes Welker, James Jones and Reggie Wayne are all hoping a team calls entering training camp. Both Welker and Jones have been outspoken in their desire to continue playing and denying retirement. The Cowboys might be able to get them on a cheap contract.
For now, the team will rely players like Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and you stars like Devin Street and AJ Jenkins to pick up the slack. If depth becomes an issue, signing a free agent will be the only choice the Cowboys have.