DIAMOND DEZ DEAL DONE: Dallas Cowboys secure X-Factor with new five-year contract | Dez Bryant tags franchise with $70 million deal | Deadline Day Deal Drama in Big D
IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant will be a Dallas Cowboy for years to come.
Bryant and the Cowboys finalized a multi-year contract this afternoon, just prior to the NFL’s July 15 deadline to sign player designated with the franchise tag.
The deal is worth roughly $70 million over five years, with $45 million guaranteed. Dez gets a $20 million signing bonus, $23 million guaranteed upon signing his deal and the rest of his $45 million in guarantees next March.
It’s close to the $16 million per year earned by Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, Bryant’s $14 million average per season exceeds the $12.82 million he would have made in 2015 by signing his franchise tag that represents the average of the NFL’s five highest wide receiver salaries.
Bryant’s signing concluded a long, protracted negotiation spanning several months. Multiple times, a deal appeared close but wasn’t completed.
Talks quieted in the spring, and without a signed franchise-tag tender, Bryant chose to skip the team’s voluntary offseason program and organized team activities. He stopped by Valley Ranch periodically to work out or visit with players and staff, and he participated in individual drills during one of the nine OTAs.
On the final day of the team’s mandatory minicamp, Bryant – who wasn’t required to show up because he wasn’t under contract – watched practice and had a long discussion on the AT&T Stadium sideline with team owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
Despite the apparent goodwill on both sides, there have been potential trouble signs: reports in mid-June and a declaration from Bryant’s Twitter account Monday that he’d be willing to hold out if the sides couldn’t strike a deal by Wednesday’s deadline.
Bryant certainly has earned it. The 24th pick in the 2010 draft, he’s become the emotional leader of a playoff roster and a perennial All-Pro at his position. In 2014 he set a single-season club record with 16 touchdown catches and topped 1,000 yards (1,320) for the third time in his five-year career.
In 75 career games, Bryant ranks seventh in team history with 381 catches and 56 touchdowns, and in 2015 he conceivably could move as high as third all-time in catches behind only Jason Witten (943) and Michael Irvin (750). Drew Pearson, currently in third place, has 489.
Bryant led the Cowboys last season with 88 catches and nearly had one of the most memorable in team history in the final minutes of the team’s Divisional Round playoff loss to Green Bay. With the Cowboys trailing 26-20 on fourth down, officials concluded Bryant did not maintain full possession throughout the process as he stretched for the goal line.
Though technically ruled incomplete, the infamous play has actually grown Bryant’s legend, with #DezCaughtIt still a trendy social media hashtag from heartbroken Dallas Cowboys fans months later.
One hurdle in the contract negotiations was the financial gap between the two highest-paid receivers, Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, and the rest of the league. Several other top wideouts – Denver’s Demaryius Thomas, Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green – are also looking for long-term deals at some point, but no one had reset the market for the position.
“I do have a good relationship with Dez,” Jones said during minicamp. “I know that he like the Cowboys want him to be a Cowboy all of his playing career.
“We value him. Other than Dez, nobody is prouder of his accomplishments.”
This is a long-term deal that will validate Bryant’s place among the NFL’s elite. As rugged and talented at the point of catch as any receiver around, Bryant has pumped out three straight 1,200-plus-yard campaigns despite constant double teams. There is zero question about the fire Bryant brings to the field.
IT’S TRUE-BLUE ENVY: Dallas Cowboys have NFL’s best fan base | America’s Team haters face the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive fans in the league
Here at The Boys Are Back website, we knew it all along. The Dallas Cowboys have the best fans in the NFL.
The new study from Emory University is sure to turn some heads and anger Dallas Cowboys demonizers, and haters, all around the world.
The Dallas Cowboys are not only “America’s Team”, but they are also have “the best fans” in the NFL according to Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi (at Emory Sports Marketing Analytics). The authors define “best” as “the most avid, engaged, passionate and supportive fans.” Continue reading →
THE BOYS ARE BACK ON TRACK: Both Dallas Cowboys player suspensions resolved | Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain to return in week 5 | 2015 Dallas Cowboys
After weeks of inactivity at Valley Ranch due to offseason vacation breaks … there is news to report today.
The NFL announced that Greg Hardy‘s suspension was reduced from 10 games to four games this afternoon. Continue reading →
MEET AMERICA’S TEAM CENTENARIAN: Troy Aikman surprises lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan Evonne Morgan | 100th Birthday visit delights adorable True Blue fan
The Dallas Cowboys have legions of fans, of all ages, in the U.S. and around the world.
Evonne Morgan stands out. Continue reading →
THE BATTLING BACK ‘BOYS: The Journey from Injured Reserve to Redemption | Comeback Cowboys Sean Lee & Morris Claiborne fighting back
For some Cowboys, there has been no offseason.
For the few players that ended the 2014 campaign on the injured reserve list, the offseason consisted of about one week before returning to the Valley Ranch facility to continue their rehabilitation process. Continue reading →
THE PULSE OF AMERICA’S TEAM: Family Day followed by Fathers Day | Superhero dad Tony Romo super-charged | Dallas Cowboys family focused | 2015 minicamp wrap-up
Tony Romo’s wife, Candice, and their two sons Hawkins (age 3) and Rivers (age 1) were at AT&T Stadium for ‘Family Day’, the annual event in which players’ wives and kids are invited to watch the final practice of Dallas Cowboys Minicamp, then stay around for lunch and playtime on the field. Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE: ‘Boys Big Balls | Meat on the Bone | Diggin Dallas’ Drones in Philly | No fear, Scandrick secure
Dallas Cowboys run drills using their big yellow ball, as seen here during OTA’s, at the team’s Valley Ranch practice facility in Irving, Texas. More on this later. Continue reading →
APPEALS, DEALS & POTENTIAL STEALS: Kraken Packin–Upcoming Greg Hardy appeal | Dallas Cowboys sign another former first-rounder | Scandrick smiling again | Pro Scouting Report–A. J. Jenkins | Silver and Blue linings
IRVING, Texas – Greg Hardy is on hand for the start of the Dallas Cowboys OTAs, but he’ll be absent Thursday when he heads to Washington D.C. for the appeal of his 10-game suspension. Continue reading →
EXPECT EXTRA-LONG EXTRA POINT: NFL owners approve PAT rule changes for 2015 season | Kickers moved back 15 yards | Defensive scoring opportunity created
The NFL has been tinkering with the PAT in hopes of making it a more difficult and therefore entertaining play for spectators. Continue reading →
HOW ‘BOUT THEM WOWBOYS?: Dallas Cowboys make sure La’el Collins has his moment in the sun; Rookie’s inspirational message sends shockwaves around Cowboys Nation | The trade-bait debate | A true-blue must-see video
What else can you really say about what has happened here this week, particularly on Thursday afternoon at Valley Ranch. Continue reading →
FOUND HIS HOME ON THE RANGE: Meet La’el Collins, your newest Dallas Cowboy | Team introduces La’el Collins to the media | Dallas Cowboys introductory Press Conference
La’el Collins introductory Press Conference | Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett, of the Dallas Cowboys introduce outstanding LSU OT La’el Collins and his mother to the media. Notice he’s been issued Mark Tuinei’s jersey number.
This press conference is available on the Dallas Cowboys audio archives page of The Boys Are Back website | Duration: 37:41 | Check out the audio HERE. Check out the video HERE on the Dallas Cowboys video archives page.
The original announcement article of the official signing is posted HERE.
REINFORCING ROMO’S WALL: Dallas Cowboys officially sign top OT prospect La’el Collins | Trenches formed with four first-round pounders | NFL Draft Prospect Profile | Pro Scouting Reports
LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins has officially signed with the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted in last weekend’s NFL draft. Continue reading →
UNITY UNIT UNITED: O-line is fine with current RB stables | Dallas Cowboys offensive line ready to gel with running backs | North Texas Food Bank benefit
The Dallas Cowboys offensive line sticks together, on the field and off it. Continue reading →
MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Swing Secured–OT Chaz Green grabbed at 91 | Pro Scouting Report | Bonus Audio–Secret Call and more | NFL Draft 2015
After getting one of the better value players in the entire draft earlier in the night, the Dallas Cowboys came back in the third round to take offensive tackle Chaz Green with the 91st pick. Continue reading →
MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Sacker Secured–DE Randy Gregory slips to sixty | Pass rusher too good to pass, twice | Pro Scouting Report | Bonus Audio–Secret Call and more | NFL Draft 2015
The Dallas Cowboys took another step toward fortifying their defense in the second round, selecting Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory with the 60th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. Continue reading →
MEET YOUR NEW DALLAS COWBOY: Secondary Secured–CB/S Byron Jones snagged 27th overall | Pro Scouting Report | Bonus Audio–Secret Call and more | NFL Draft 2015
IRVING, Texas – Having patiently waited throughout the opening night of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected one of the best athletes in this draft class, snagging Byron Jones with the 27th overall pick. Continue reading →
YOU’RE THE GENERAL MANAGER: Your 2015 NFL Draft Trade Value Chart | Dallas Cowboys draft pick trade value chart | Dallas Cowboys Draft Primer
The 2015 NFL Draft starts tomorrow night, so you’ll have to get busy wheelin’ n dealin’ if you want to pull of the trade of the century! To make it easier, here’s your personal (and printable) copy of the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart that teams use to assign a value to each pick. Continue reading →