Three things we learned at Combine: Cowboys

INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Jason Garrett met with the media Wednesday at the NFL combine. Here's what we learned about the Dallas Cowboys:

Keeping the running back: Jason Garrett has made no secret about his wishes to keep DeMarco Murray, but he also understands the two sides have to come to an agreement contractually for the relationship to continue. He has not allowed himself to think about life without Murray should the NFL's leading rusher leave via free agency.

"We're in conversations with him and his guy and we're trying to get a deal that works for the Dallas Cowboys and works for DeMarco Murray," Garrett said. "His impact on our team was significant last year but again we're in the business part of it right now. We love the guy. We love him as a person. We love him as a player and hopefully we can get the whole thing worked out."

Keeping the wide receiver: The Cowboys are leaning toward putting the franchise tag on Dez Bryant, which may trigger the All-Pro wide receiver to skip some or all of the offseason program as a protest to not having a multi-year deal with larger guaranteed money.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said he expects Bryant to be a pro and play even if it is under the franchise tag. Garrett sidestepped a direct question about concern about Bryant's reaction to the tag but doesn't want Bryant anywhere else.

"The biggest thing that everyone needs to know is how much we appreciate Dez Bryant and the kind of football player we think he is," Garrett said. "Obviously his impact is huge. He's one of those guys that 60, 65 times a game he breaks the huddle and the defense is looking for No. 88. He's a rare guy that way and for him to have the production that he's had to this point in his career has been remarkable because he's been getting that kind of attention from Day 1. We love Dez. We believe he's the right kind of guy. He loves football. He loves being a part of the Cowboys."

Bring the band back: The Cowboys have 20 unrestricted and restricted free agents. Garrett would like to see them all return, even if that is not probable.

"We have some real cornerstone players on our football team that we'd like to have back in 2015," Garrett said. "But again there's a business part of this too. Dez Bryant is a great football player. He makes our team better. DeMarco Murray makes our team better. Doug Free, Jermey Parnell make our team better. Dwayne Harris makes our team better. The linebackers, Rolando [McClain] and Justin Durant and these other guys, George Selvie, all these guys they make our team better and we have to make some hard choices in regards to what their future is and what their status is and we're in those discussions right now. And hopefully we can work it out where we can bring a lot of those guys back and keep building on the things we've been doing the past couple of years."