You’ve heard of players sitting out of OTAs in order to force a team into a new contract, but Dez Bryant is ready to take it to the next level. According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys’ star receiver personally informed Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones that he will sit out training camp and regular season games unless he is given a long-term contract.
The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Bryant and now the clock is ticking for the two sides to reach an agreement. The NFL deadline for franchise players is Wednesday, meaning that if he does not have a new deal by then, Bryant will have to play the season at the franchise number of $12.8 million.
The official deadline is at 4 p.m. ET.
Bryant had 88 receptions for 1,320 yards in 2014 and led the NFL with 16 touchdown receptions. He has made it clear he wants to stay with the Cowboys, but believes he has proven himself as one of league’s top receivers and is seeking the security of a long-term contract. The two sides have reportedly not exchanged proposals since before the Independence Day holiday.
The Redskins do not play Dallas until Week 13. Even if Bryant makes good on his promise to sit in the regular season, it would have to be a pretty lengthy holdout in order to affect that game.
It's worth noting that Bryant has participated in OTAs and was at the team's minicamp, so he may just be talking tough. With the loss of running back DeMarco Murray in the offseason, however, the idea of losing Bryant for any length of time should be troubling for the Cowboys and good news for the rest of the NFC East.