Cowboys expect Dez Bryant to show for voluntary offseason program

IRVING, Texas -- When the voluntary offseason program starts next month, the Dallas Cowboys are expecting Dez Bryant to be there.

Until Bryant signs the franchise-tag tender, which would guarantee him $12.823 million for 2015, he is under no obligation to show up for anything, even the mandatory June mini-camp.

“I’m not worried about that at all, and it’s because of how much he loves the game, how much he knows that preparation, practice, all of that improves him,” owner Jerry Jones said in this Star-Telegram story. “He’s at a time in his career where he’s physically still very much improving, can get better. The biggest reason I want a long-term agreement with Dez is so we’ll have a deal with him for a long term -- but not as far as impacting what we’re doing this year in terms of what Dez’s performance will be or what we are as a team. We’ve got that in place with the franchise. So I’m not worried. I know how much he loves to play football, I know how much he loves his teammates, I know how much he loves his team and I know how much money he’s getting. With all of that, you play.”

The Cowboys and Bryant's agents, Tom Condon and Kim Miale, have not had talks regarding a long-term deal for Bryant after having a meeting with Jerry and Stephen Jones at Valley Ranch after the draft. The Cowboys have until July 15 to sign Bryant to a long-term deal and if they don’t, Bryant would have to play the season on the tag and likely face the possibility of being tagged again in 2016.

If the Cowboys tag Bryant next year, he would stand to make roughly $28 million over the next two years. It seems logical to follow that the guaranteed money on a long-term deal for Bryant would be well north of that figure.

But the Cowboys aren’t the only team with decisions to make on wide receivers. The Denver Broncos put the franchise tag on Demaryius Thomas. The Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals have Julio Jones and A.J. Green, respectively, entering the final years of their contracts.

Jerry Jones acknowledged the franchise tag is not the best option for the Cowboys because of the cap space eats up.

While others seem to obsess about Bryant’s future with the Cowboys, Jones isn’t.

“I don’t see angst there at all,” Jones said. "I hear angst from media, but I don’t see angst. And angst is equal -- we both would like to have a long-term contract. But there’s no doubt in my mind that, without being presumptuous, without doing anything, that Dez will be on the field and a Dallas Cowboy under either of the circumstances -- long-term or franchise agreement. There’s no doubt. That won’t impact us trying to get a long-term agreement in place and a long-term commitment to the Cowboys and a commitment for Dez. I don’t see any of that, absent the other.”