Fans, NFL players—both current and former—and many in the media have long been wondering what could possibly be keeping the Dallas Cowboys from extending a long-term offer to Dez Bryant.
After all, Bryant is undoubtedly a premier receiver who some feel has overtaken Calvin Johnson as the league’s best after his 41-touchdown outburst the past three seasons.
Perhaps now we know why Jerry and Stephen Jones have been balking.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, Dallas is seeking the ability to void Bryant’s contract in the case of any off-field trouble. Cole notes the Cowboys are wary of giving him too much guaranteed money, which coincides with this concern.
“The Cowboys are extremely concerned that there could be a relapse, another incident, that something else could happen that could land him in jail or under the personal conduct policy, and they want safeguards on that just like they’ve had safeguards with other players like Byron Jones.”
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has followed Bryant throughout his career. Coming into the league, Dallas took a huge risk selecting him in the first round after he had a spell of bad behavior in college.
As ex-scout Bryan Broaddus said back in 2013 (via The Dallas Morning News): “The worst I had ever seen of a background is the kid Dez Bryant.”
While it’s true Bryant has stayed mostly out of trouble since entering the league, it’s not hard to understand where Jones is coming from, wanting this protection.
Similarly, it’s easy to see why Bryant would balk at signing a deal with such a provision. No player wants to give up guaranteed money.
It appears this standoff isn’t going to resolve itself any time soon, which means Bryant will likely have a chance to prove he’s not bluffing about missing game checks in 2015.
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