What Are The Chances The Dallas Cowboys Lose Dez Bryant?


There was no surprise when the Dallas Cowboys front office chose to franchise tag All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant. There was a collective sigh of relief heard from Cowboy fans far and wide. That relief quickly turned to surprise to some fans when it was mentioned that he could still be signed by another team. What?

The Cowboys’ front office used the non-exclusive tag on their star receiver. The difference in savings for the Cowboys is about two million dollars on his Franchise Tag price. The exclusive rights tag pays an average pay of the top five players at that position for the current year, the non-exclusive tag takes the average of the last five years of the top five.

More from The Landry Hat


Obviously since salaries continue to rise, teams normally choose the non-exclusive route. The gamble is that it does carry the risk of having another team sign that player. The team has the option of matching that offer. If the team chooses not to match the offer, that team would receive the next two first round draft picks slotted for the signing team. Easy enough.

This begs the question. Should fans be worried about losing Dez?

The are two conditions that common sense dictates need to exist. One is salary cap space. Even with some creative cap manipulation, that eliminates most teams considering what it would take for Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones not to match the offer. The number would have to be up there.

Could a savvy general manager structure a deal that makes it difficult for the Cowboys to match? Consider the draft picks. To give up two first round picks, one would assume the draft position would have to be low in the first round for most teams to consider giving up two coveted picks.

The combination of the cap space and the draft picks makes it unlikely. Or does it? It only take one aggressive team, or one in love with Dez owner. The argument could be made that a team would bank on winning in 2015, thus changing their draft position in the 2016 NFL draft to the bottom of the first round.

Five teams have the cap space. Keep in mind that these teams are up against a requirement that they spend to their cap limit because of the 89% cap spending floor negotiated into the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The first thought is that the Colts are too conservative but can you imagine quarterback Andrew Luck throwing to Dez Bryant? The same conservative point could be made for the Titans and Buccaneers. Although those franchises are in desperation mode with fading fan bases.

That leaves the Raiders and Browns. If you picked two of the most unpredictable, stumbling, bumbling and off the grid franchises in the NFL it would be these two. At this point would anything the Browns due surprise you? The Raiders still have an owner with the last name Davis. Enough said there. Another point is that both teams have little to no money tied up in a franchise quarterback.

Add in the element of the Raiders looking to jump-start a movement to get a new stadium. The impact of signing a Dez Bryant on ticket sales and fan base enthusiasm cannot be over looked. Would either the Browns or Raiders be afraid of the risk and baggage that is Dez Bryant?

The conspiracy theorists out there would say this is the reason behind the recent Dez damage being stirred up in the media. Just because the Cowboys are balking at giving a boat load of guaranteed money to a player with Dez Bryant’s history doesn’t mean every team feels the same.

It does make you wonder doesn’t it? Remember it only takes one team.

Next: Chip Kelly, Dallas' Biggest Free Agent?