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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Dez Bryant Not Happy About Possible Franchise Tag

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Dez Bryant is likely to be franchised, and he is not happy about it.

The Combine is on, but Dez dominates Dallas news.
The Combine is on, but Dez dominates Dallas news.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys 2015 Free Agents: Dallas Brings Back Two Free Agent Offensive Linemen - Blogging The Boys

We start out with our own Dave Halprin's summation of the signing of Ronald Leary and Darrion Weems, both to the minimum deals they had to accept as exclusive rights free agents. They also freed up a little more cap money with another move.

Todd Archer reports that the team also re-worked the deal of linebacker Dekoda Watson. He was slated to make $1.25 million but took a pay-cut down to $745,000.

Uncertainty With Salary Cap Affects Decision Making Process Toward Free Agency | Dallas Cowboys

While the team is making the initial moves to structure the roster for the offseason, they face the problem of having to operate without knowing exactly how much cap space they have to work with.

Given the importance of those decisions, it's easy to lose focus on some basic truths. For instance, as team executive vice president Stephen Jones quickly pointed out on Tuesday - the Cowboys don't even yet know how much money they have to work with this offseason. With three weeks still to wait until the start of free agency, the NFL has yet to announce a hard salary cap.

Cowboys Leaning Toward Using Franchise Tag On Dez, Not In A Rush To Decide | Dallas Cowboys

The window is open for teams to use the franchise tag on one player. The Cowboys of course have two prime candidates for the tag in Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray, and according to executive vice president Stephen Jones there is no hurry to make a decision.

"We're still working through everything," he said. "Usually, we'll probably use the full amount of time before we decide to do whatever things we want to do with the tag. We'll probably wait until the midnight hour to make that decision."

The deadline to use the tag is March 2, which gives the Cowboys another two weeks to decide what to do. If they were to make that call today, Jones said it'd likely be used on Bryant, who is seeking to become one of the league's highest-paid receivers.

Dez Bryant tweets his displeasure with Cowboys | Dallas Morning News

Bryant was not happy to hear this, initiating a bit of a back and forth on Twitter.

Stephen Jones: When it comes to DeMarco Murray, everything counts - ESPN

The team still has its eyes on what to do with the Offensive Player of the Year.

"It's difficult," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "He's a great player. He's, in my opinion, a better man off the field in terms of the way he goes about his business, and so all of those things are difficult. As we all know running backs are a difficult position in terms of how [they] are valued. So there's a lot of things we'll have to evaluate as we make the ultimate decision as to what our number can be with DeMarco verses (sic) what somebody else's number may be."

Emmitt Smith says he would pay to keep Murray if he was Cowboys’ owner | The Star Telegram The Star Telegram

A pretty fair running back from the Cowboys' history feels, not surprisingly, that the team should try harder.

Smith told a crowd before meeting with the media that he would pay to keep Murray, as well as wide receiver Dez Bryant, if he were in Jerry Jones' shoes going into free agency.

But, as he quickly reminded the crowd on hand Tuesday morning at a PenFed Credit Union charity event benefiting Home for Our Troops and Toys for Tots, he's not Jerry Jones.

Scouting Combine: Two SEC RBs Among 10 Players Broaddus Watching Closely | Dallas Cowboys

I'm not saying that I included this name just for the inimitable OCC, who has a mild distaste for running backs in the first round. But I did.

Todd Gurley, RB Georgia:

Would be a Top 10 player in this draft regardless of position if he were healthy. Will not be able to work out for the scouts at the Combine but news will travel fast in Indianapolis of how far along his injured knee has come since November. Will have the knee checked out again in April before the draft. Is one of those players that you would consider taking a chance on if you get the okay from the medical staff.

2015 NFL Combine: Prospects with the most to gain or lose - CBSSports.com

I could mention Gurley again here, but that would be overkill. However, he is hardly the only name of interest to Dallas.

DE/OLB Bud Dupree, Kentucky
Similar to (Vic) Beasley, Dupree started at tight end before moving to defense, using his athleticism to launch off the line of scrimmage to penetrate the backfield. And similar to Beasley, he should turn heads in every drill for a 265-pounder.

NFL Trade Rumors - Cowboys Waive LB Mister Alexander | NFL Trade Rumors

Just a reminder of how tenuous life is for marginal players in the NFL.

The Cowboys added him to their practice squad in December and later signed him to a future/reserve contract in January.

Jason Pierre-Paul a candidate for Giants' franchise tag - NFL.com

Along with their own free agents, Dallas fans have been speculating on what players from other teams the Cowboys may be able to go after. Jason Pierre-Paul has been one name mentioned, but it looks like we can forget about that idea. Well, if you trust the source, anyway.

Whether or not discussions pick up at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, the Giants have no intention of losing their top defensive player to free agency. That leaves Pierre-Paul as a strong candidate for the franchise tag, per Rapoport.

2015 Coach/G.M. Combine interview list | ProFootballTalk

The Cowboys will be represented during the staff interviews.

Wednesday, February 18
4:15 P.M.: Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys Head Coach

Notably, there was no sign of Jerry Jones. There has been no mention of him being at the combine. But of course, he has never needed a scheduled time to talk to a microphone or camera.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB