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Why The Franchise Tag For Dez Bryant Wouldn't Be The End Of The World

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With the franchise tag seeming more and more likely for Dez Bryant, it may not be as bad as you originally think.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When you read the words "franchise tag" and "Dez Bryant" put together, it makes many of us feel like the world may be crashing down. Does this mean that the Dallas Cowboys don't want him for the long term? Will Bryant be frustrated beyond belief and end up wanting out of Dallas? The resounding answer to both of those questions is almost certainly going to be a big "no", and it's tough to argue otherwise.

When asked about using the franchise tag on Bryant, Stephen Jones stated that the Cowboys are "leaning that way." Jones did go on to say that it "doesn't mean it won't change." So, before we turn this into the worst-case scenario, let's just break down exactly what this means.

What Happens If Bryant Gets The Tag?

Bryant will get hit with the franchise tag if a deal can't be reached before March 2nd, which is the final day to use the tag. From that point, the Cowboys can still negotiate a new deal with their star wide receiver until July 15th. This is one of the key reasons why it's not completely terrible for the Cowboys if they have to tag Bryant.

It doesn't mean that the negotiations are done this offseason, not by a long shot. Think back to when Jimmy Graham got his new contract, per NFL.com. He was tagged with the franchise tag, and it turned into a brutal back-and-forth, with Graham arguing that he should earn wide receiver pay instead of tight end pay under the tag.

Many Saints' fans were concerned that the franchise tag situation alone would cause the two sides to end up parting ways, but before the season even began, they had worked out a new deal. While Bryant's situation isn't exactly the same, the frustration that he's feeling is likely similar to the frustration that Graham felt. You can sense a bit of that frustration from the tweet below:

Bryant definitely isn't feeling the love right now, which is understandable. There are many different ways to spin this, one of which is that the Cowboys want to work out the deal, but simply don't want to risk losing their star receiver. The other way is that the Cowboys are afraid to put money into Bryant, who has had off-field troubles in the past.

Personally, I don't believe that Dallas is hung up on the past of Bryant, especially since he has stayed out of trouble in recent years, and seems to have truly turned a corner. For the Cowboys to be hung up on Bryant's past would be ridiculous, to say the least.

While the franchise tag almost sounds like a done deal, let's also not forget that the two sides could strike a deal within the next week and a half or so, and that would make this all one big irrelevant conversation. Even if Bryant does get the franchise tag though, I believe the two sides will still find a way to work out a deal before the 2015 season.

Could you imagine if the Cowboys had to lose the NFL's leading rusher, and then ended up heading into 2015 with a disgruntled No. 1 receiver? That doesn't sound like an offense that Tony Romo would be overjoyed to be leading.