Bryant sat with his teammates in the stands as coach Jason Garrett addressed the team and a video played on the center-hung scoreboard. As players warmed up, Bryant played a quick game of catch with Cole Beasley and spent a quick moment talking with Tony Romo.
"I know Dez. I know his mindset. I know his mentality. I know he's working hard and hopefully we can get the business stuff resolved and he'll get back to playing football." Jason Garrett
During practice, Bryant remained mostly on the sideline. He and Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones also had a 10-15 minute conversation on the field during the practice.
"It's great to have him here. Dez obviously hasn't signed his franchise deal yet, so he's not practicing," Garrett said. "He's dropped in really throughout the offseason program. Dez is a special guy. He's obviously a heck of a football player, obviously very important to our football team. His approach is really well respected by anybody on our team, the guys he goes against. He's got a great passion for the game, and it's great to have him here."
Over the course of the past week, there have been reports about Bryant's willingness to miss regular-season games if he does not have a long-term deal before July 15. The Cowboys do not believe the threat is serious, in part because the move would cost Bryant roughly $754,000 per week.
Garrett was vague when asked if he requested Bryant to show up for the final day of minicamp, which will conclude with players' families taking part in an event after practice.
But Bryant's appearance seems to show how hard it would be for him to sit out without a new deal.
"Again, that's not under any of our control," Garrett said. "Dez is preparing himself to play football, and there's a business side of the NFL that's real. It's real for our team. It's real for every team in this league. I know Dez. I know his mindset. I know his mentality. I know he's working hard and hopefully we can get the business stuff resolved and he'll get back to playing football."
On Wednesday, Bryant tweeted:
Everybody voicing opinions..13 mil is cool but Where is my security? I'll wait ...5 years without complaining..So how am I selfish? #family1— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) June 17, 2015
Also on Wednesday, Jones said he wants Bryant to be a Cowboy for life, but the deal has to be right for the Cowboys and their salary-cap allocation. Bryant is scheduled to make $12.823 million on the franchise tag, and if he doesn't sign a new deal before July 15, there can be no negotiation on a long-term deal until after the season.
"I am sympathetic to it and understand it completely," Jones said. "And I would like nothing more than to have long-term security with Dez. Now that's where you get right down to it. We've worked together great for five years ... The fact that he's as substantive as he is relatively speaking to the way he came in the league, the criticism that he was taking, I was taking, is really rewarding. We've got more. There's more ahead. And he's, by the way, got a chance to be better in my view in the future. But we've got to get it all done to everybody's satisfaction."