Dallas Cowboys

Dez watch continues

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant hasn’t made many public statements during the off-season.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant hasn’t made many public statements during the off-season. Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is on the roster to participate in Dirk Nowitzki’s charity baseball game Saturday at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

But Bryant, who remains upset with the Cowboys’ decision to use the franchise tag on him next season, didn’t show up for a practice session Friday.

Nowitzki is hopeful Bryant plays in the game, but didn’t have a firm answer on whether one of the bigger stars in his event would show.

“Hopefully he is going to come out and play. He said he was playing,” Nowitzki said. “He played the [past] two years, and he’s an incredible athlete. He was phenomenal.”

Bryant and his contract situation have made headlines all off-season. He skipped most of the Cowboys’ organized team activities earlier this month, making only sparse appearances.

He also skipped the first two days of the Cowboys’ minicamp before showing up for the final day, although he did not speak to reporters.

Bryant, 26, has yet to speak publicly since reports surfaced that he is contemplating sitting out regular-season games if he and the Cowboys don’t reach a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline.

If no extension is in place by that date, Bryant would have to play under the $12.8 million franchise tag next season and could not negotiate a deal until after the season.

So why would Bryant hold out and lose more than $750,000 every week he isn’t on the roster?

Well, Bryant and his camp would hope that forces the Cowboys to put in a clause that prohibits them from using the franchise tag a second consecutive season in 2016.

There is a precedent for that, too, considering the Cowboys gave Greg Hardy that luxury in structuring his contract.

In the meantime, Bryant might or might not play in a charity baseball game.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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