Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys miss Dez Bryant, who might miss them more

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is working out on his own, while seeking a long-term contract.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is working out on his own, while seeking a long-term contract. TNS

Dez Bryant’s locker sits empty, waiting for his return. The Cowboys concluded their second organized team activity without their star receiver.

Bryant has yet to sign his $12.823 million franchise-tag tender, while still seeking a long-term deal before July 15. While his teammates go through practice at Valley Ranch, he continues to work out on his own.

“Yeah, we haven’t had Dez for the first two days,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “Obviously when you have him, it makes things a little bit easier. Tell him to come on back.”

The Cowboys have seen Bryant at Valley Ranch a handful of times this off-season. Bryant’s competitiveness draws him back occasionally. But with no meaningful negotiations with the Cowboys, Bryant likely won’t be on the field with his teammates until training camp.

“Obviously, he’s working on the business part of his contract, working through this franchise-player tag,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve been in communication with him; he’s been in communication with his teammates. He seems to be in great shape whenever we’ve seen him, but he has not been here.”

Bryant, 26, earned All-Pro honors last season with 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Cowboys don’t worry about Bryant’s absence this off-season, though, knowing he will be ready for the season.

“Dez is a competitor and he not only loves to play, but he loves to practice,” Cowboys receivers coach Derek Dooley said. “He loves being out there with the team. I know he misses his teammates. I know he misses being here, but that’s part of the deal. I think everybody understands it.”

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean