Note to Jerry: Stop lowballing Dez

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is lowballing Dez Bryant -- and he's been doing it for months.

Remember, the Cowboys compared Bryant to Washington Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson during training camp, among the silliest comparisons you'll ever hear. Jackson is a supreme deep threat; Bryant is among the game's best receivers.

Lowballing Bryant has zero to do with any concerns about Bryant's off-the-field activities. Nor does it have anything to do with any alleged video.

While the Cowboys will tell you they've yet to have a meaningful conversation with Bryant's agent, Tom Condon, it wouldn't matter if they had.

Jerry isn't offering Bryant a lucrative long-term deal for one reason: He doesn't have to do it.

It's really that simple, but just because the rules allow a franchise to take advantage of a player doesn't mean it should. So Bryant, first-team All-Pro this season, has every reason to be mad, annoyed, disappointed or any other adjective you want to use to describe his mood.

The Cowboys threw the ball 110 fewer times in 2014 than in 2013, yet Bryant still caught 88 passes for 1,320 and established a new franchise record with 16 touchdowns. He has at least 1,230 yards each of the past three seasons and scored 41 touchdowns.

He continues to emerge as this team's heartbeat, a player whose passion serves as a catalyst for others. No one on this team practices harder. And no one plays harder. And no one touches every other unit on the roster. Bryant is as likely to hang with a practice squad player on defense as he with is DeMarco Murray. His personality resonates with everybody.

During one quiet moment the last week of the regular season, Bryant chastised practice squad receiver Chris Boyd for not meeting him for a lifting session as they sat at his locker. Then Bryant explained to Boyd the importance of lifting during the season.

The Cowboys show their appreciation by lowballing him. It's fine if linebacker Sean Lee and right tackle Tyron Smith choose to accept team-friendly deals. Tony Romo didn't take a team-friendly deal. He took a market-value deal that will pay him $108 million over six seasons. Good for him; Romo earned the extension through his performance and the Cowboys took care of him.

Now, Bryant wants the market-value deal he's earned. Until he gets it, he's going to be frustrated and occasionally pop off on Twitter, which is what athletes his age do these days.

Jerry has been the king of overspending for years, and now he's decided it's time to make a change. From a business-model perspective, it makes sense considering the Cowboys have been in salary-cap jail for years and they're no longer interested in playing that game.

If Bryant wants to sign a team-friendly deal, the Cowboys can get it done by the end of the week. If not, the Cowboys will put the franchise tag on him by March 2.

Sure, the tag pays him nearly $13 million this season, more money than 99 percent of the folks on this planet will see in a lifetime.

So what?

Bryant has talent that 99 percent of the folks on this planet don't possess. Bryant wants market value, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Market value in the world of elite receivers is a five- or six-year deal that averages about $14 million and guarantees Bryant $35 million to $40 million.

Don't believe any poppycock about the Cowboys being close to a deal with Bryant during the season before he changed agents, because that's organizational propaganda at it its best.

The Cowboys never offered him any deal with more than $30 million in guaranteed money, which means Bryant was never interested in that deal. The Cowboys offered him a deal with about $20 million in guaranteed money.

How insulting.

If they franchise Bryant this season and next season, he'll earn about $28 million in guaranteed money. Given that, it makes no sense for him to sign a long-term deal that guarantees him less than he'd earn if he were franchised each of the next two seasons.

Bryant is not alone. The Denver Broncos have told receiver Demaryius Thomas to expect the franchise tag unless a long-term deal can be worked out, and the New York Giants have told defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul the same thing.

Bryant's switch from agent Eugene Parker to Roc Nation, which is headed by Jay Z, even though Condon's handling of negotiations hasn't helped his situation.

Whenever a player changes agents, it's normally because the new guy (Condon) has persuaded the player that he can get a much better deal for him than the previous guy (Parker) could get him.

Otherwise, what's the point of making a move. The Cowboys didn't want to pay Bryant what Parker was trying to get him, so it's hard to believe Condon is going to negotiate a better deal anytime soon.

Eventually, it seems like a deal will get done, but it's not going to happen until the Cowboys stop lowballing Bryant and actually try to negotiate.

Until then, check Twitter often.