Dez Bryant has grown from being a talented-but-troubled young NFL rookie into one of the top pass catchers in the game. Along the way there have been many growing pains but one thing that has never been questioned is Bryant's passion for the game. There has never been a question about the Lufkin High School product's love of the Cowboys either, but the National Football League is about business and Bryant rightfully is looking out for himself when it comes to negotiation his next contract. The same holds true for Jerry and Stephen Jones; they are responsible for the bottom line of the team. So far, the two sides have not been able to reach a mutually satisfying arrangement.
Bryant is not the only one of the league's top wide receivers who finds himself in limbo as far as a contract is concerned. Both he and fellow All-Pro Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos are withholding their signatures from their respective franchise tag tenders. Each feels that he is worth similar money to what Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald receive. That would put their paydays in the range of $16 million per year.
Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones wants to keep Dez as a member of the Dallas Cowboys family, but with a somewhat smaller impact on the team's financial ledger. For the front office it is a matter of not only being able to keep their top pass catcher on the roster but also being able to put enough top-level talent on that roster with Bryant for them to be able to reach the aspirations that both sides have for the team. It is simply a matter of both sides playing hardball due to the realities of football in the salary cap era. In bygone years, it is likely that Bryant would have been locked up by a free spending Jerry Jones who never hesitated to spend money to make money but the rules have changed to where that type of business model is no longer how things are done.
The younger Jones remains confident that a deal will eventually get done.
"I think ultimately we’ll get this done. No one wants to have Dez long term involved with the Dallas Cowboys more so than our organization, Jerry and myself."
Both Bryant and Thomas are standing firm in their position as are the Cowboys and Broncos. Neither man wants to go elsewhere and neither team wants to lose their top-tier talent. These things happen, its just business. Each side is flexing some muscle. It happens. The good news for fans of both teams is that it is just posturing. There is little doubt that both players will remain where they are. It is the nature of the business when each side exercises the leverage they have.
It is a matter of which side will blink first. Once that happens, it is likely that things will come together rather quickly and Cowboys fans will have another reason to celebrate. The waiting is the hardest part.