Dallas Cowboys

Report: Dez Bryant could skip Cowboys opener without long-term deal ... but does that make sense?

An ESPN report suggests Dez Bryant could skip the team’s season opener against the Giants. (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins)
An ESPN report suggests Dez Bryant could skip the team’s season opener against the Giants. (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins) Star-Telegram

Would Dez Bryant consider sitting out the Dallas Cowboys season opener if he doesn’t reach a desired long-term deal with the team?

That very well could happen, according to an ESPN report that cited anonymous sources on the matter. But it wouldn’t seem to make much financial sense for Bryant to go in that direction and miss the Cowboys’ opener against the Giants on Sept. 13 at AT&T Stadium.

Yes, Bryant is unhappy the Cowboys have slapped him with the franchise tag at $12.8 million for next season, and he only made a brief appearance during organized team activities earlier this month. He is expected to skip next week’s mandatory minicamp, and could balk at reporting to training camp when the rest of the team arrives.

Sitting out, after all, is about the only leverage Bryant has at this point if he and the team can’t reach a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline. After that date passes, though, Bryant can only play the 2015 season on the franchise tag.

This is not like 1993 when star running back Emmitt Smith skipped the first two regular-season games before signing a lucrative deal with the team and helping them to a Super Bowl title.

Signing a long-term deal during the season simply isn’t an option for Bryant or the Cowboys after the July 15 deadline. It would have to wait until after the season.

So, essentially, missing the season opener would cost Bryant more than $750,000, based on his franchise tag salary of $12,823,000 spread out over 17 regular-season weeks ($754,294 per week).

Is he really willing to forfeit that kind of money simply to show his displeasure with the franchise tag?

This story simply screams as another ploy to try and push the Cowboys to signing him to a long-term deal.

From the Cowboys perspective, this deal is more than just about Bryant. They love what Bryant brings to the team, and his on-field production speaks for itself.

But the Cowboys are hesitant to be the first team to set the market for this new wave of wide receivers. Denver’s Demaryious Thomas, Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green are all in line for long-term deals, just like Bryant.

Maybe this threat from Bryant and his advisers gets both sides moving towards a long-term deal by July 15.

If it doesn’t happen, though, the smart money still says Bryant plays the season opener, begrudgingly or not.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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