Dez Bryant weighs skipping season opener if no long-term deal signed - Chris Mortensen, ESPN
Citing the usual "sources familiar with the situation," Mortensen speculates that Bryant could "pull an Emmitt Smith."
Bryant could not be reached for comment but a source cited the option of "pulling an Emmitt Smith," referring to the Cowboys Hall of Fame running back who missed the first two games of the 1993 season. In that situation, the team gave in when it began the season with two losses and Smith was signed to a new deal favorable to his side of negotiations. The Cowboys overcame that 0-2 start to win their second straight Super Bowl.
Maybe Mortensen should follow David Helman on Twitter.
Not sure I see the point of a holdout in Dez's situation. If he doesn't have a deal by 7/15, he can't get one until after the season.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) June 12, 2015
But at least the article generated a lot of headlines:
Could Dez Bryant really stay away from Dallas Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
In response to Mortensen's article, Archer gingerly tiptoes around his colleagues' article and argues that staying away from the season opener would be the toughest test Bryant has had in his professional life.
If there is a sliver of good news it’s that Condon repeated the wish of Stephen Jones from last week that he hopes to get a deal done before the July 15 deadline. Perhaps neither side wants to give up any perceived leverage by being the first to call.
Could Bryant really skip Cowboys games? I find that hard to imagine. The Cowboys know Bryant well and are sure to call this bluff by rolling their eyes. This is simply a negotiating tactic that reeks of desperation.
Once the July 15 deadline passes, the two sides won’t be allowed to strike a long-term deal for Bryant until after the 2015 season. So missing games in September won’t change anything for Bryant.
Dez Byrant To Hold Out Of Regular Season Games? Highly Doubtful - Blogging The Boys
Some sneaky negotiating tactics has some media contemplating a Dez Bryant holdout. Dave Halprin's advice: "Don't buy it."
Dez Bryant says threat to skip Week One is "legit" | ProFootballTalk
Apparently, Dez told Mike Silver of NFL Media, "It's not a rumor. It's legit."
Whether it’s legit or not, it’s irrelevant until Week One comes. Bryant can stay away from all offseason workouts, training camp, and the preseason without losing a penny of his $12.8 million franchise-tag salary. Come September, Bryant would lose $752,941.17 for every week he misses.
Stephen Jones' voice resonates for dad Jerry with Cowboys | Bellingham Herald
In this syndicated article from the Associated Press, Shuyler Dixon provides a great write up on Stephen Jones and how his role has evolved over the years. The opening paragraphs:
Stephen Jones chuckles at the memory of being mediator between his dad —yeah, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — and headstrong former coach Bill Parcells.
"It was tough, tough, tough," the No. 2 man in Dallas' front office says. "But it was worth it."
And it helped shape the chief operating officer/executive vice president/director of player personnel into what he is today: the person widely perceived to be calling the shots for the Cowboys.
From 'Cocaine City' to the Cowboys: La'el Collins followed faith, unsinkable mother to the NFL | Barry Horn, Dallas Morning News
In another article that goes beyond the usual (a player quote followed by two paragraphs of fluff) Horn provides an in-depth article on La'el Collins. Go read it, you will not regret it.
Bob Sturm: Any word on the Hardy appeal? | Bob Sturm, Dallas Morning News
In response to a reader question about whether he has heard anything on the Hardy appeal, Sturm replies:
Nothing. And I really don’t get it. Our Jon Machota indicated that Stephen Jones told him it takes a few weeks which I don’t fully understand either. I guess lawyers are going to lawyer and we all need to wait, but it isn’t like the NFL doesn’t understand the case or that this was coming. I still expect he will get reduced to 4-6 games, but I am absolutely blindly guessing.
Tony Romo: Virtual reality video Cowboys use is simple ‘like the iPhone’ | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys' VR technology has been all the rage this week. Tony Romo has tried it out, and he believes the new cutting edge technology will catch on pretty quickly.
"It’s great," he said. "It really is a unique and special thing, and we’re just getting started with it. This will be a big deal here shortly. You will see it all over the place soon."
Is it tough to adjust to?
"No, it’s natural," Romo said with a smile. "It’s easy. It’s like the iPhone, simple
Cowboys OTAs recap: Tony Romo impresses by practicing every day | Drew Davison, The Star Telegram
Romo, after undergoing back surgeries the previous two offseasons, was a full participant during the Cowboys’ OTAs for the first time in three years, and didn't miss a single practice.
"He has way exceeded expectations," Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said. "We really didn’t anticipate him to practice three days in a row and he hasn’t missed anything. "He’s taking the amount of reps he’s supposed to take and he’s throwing the ball with a lot of authority and really engaged with the guys."
Added offensive coordinator Scott Linehan: "Tony’s looked great. He’s working on his craft. It’s good that he can get these reps both physically and mentally this time of year."
Daily Defeats To D-Ware Made Tyron Better; Now Gregory Learns Lessons | Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Four years ago, it was Tyron Smith's time to learn from a veteran across the line of scrimmage, this year it's Randy Gregory's turn.
In 2011, DeMarcus Ware – then a five-time All-Pro pass rusher – routinely beat Smith, the ninth overall pick that year, during practice. After practice, Smith turned failures into lessons. He spent extra time learning how to counter Ware’s cache of rush moves with his natural balance of power and agility.
"He kicked my butt," Smith said at the 2015 Pro Bowl when he and Ware, now with the Denver Broncos, reunited on Team Michael Irvin. "But he kicked my butt into the shape that I needed to be."
"He’s just been doing it at this level a lot longer than I have," Randy Gregory said of Smith. "He knows a lot more of the game than I do, but I think I’m catching on as the days go. Hopefully he’s noticing it. "He makes me better. I haven’t really told him that, but he definitely makes me better."
Cowboys QB Dustin Vaughan hopes to go from survivor to role player - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The undrafted quarterback still faces a steep learning curve, but he showed potential in preseason games last year.
"He’s getting a lot more comfortable, a lot more confident," quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said. "He’s handling himself better. He had his best day (Tuesday), really threw it well and handled all the situations. He’s usually playing with younger players and they’re not always doing the right things. It can be tough for a young quarterback, but he’s come on and made progress."