It was reported over the weekend that the team planned to tag Bryant before Monday's deadline if a long-term deal could not be worked out. The two sides will likely continue to negotiate a deal to keep Bryant with the Cowboys past the 2015 season.
With Bryant receiving the tag, running back DeMarco Murray is on track to reach free agency.
The team has been trying to negotiate a long-term contract with Bryant, a free-agent to be. If a deal can't be made by Monday's franchise tag deadline, the Cowboys will use the tag to keep Bryant a Cowboy.
"I still think that (it) would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline," Cowboys VP Stephen Jones told Fox. "Looks like we're eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but certainly won't stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal. ... We just don't want to lose his rights."
Bryant had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.
"I’ve never seen anybody just pout to the extent that they wouldn’t do it over this kind of money," Jones told ESPN. "That usually is not realistic. It's just too much money."
The two sides are working on a long-term deal, but if the deal doesn't come to fruition, the franchise tag is likely to be worth $13 million next season for Bryant.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones recently told the Dallas Morning News that the Cowboys are leaning on placing the franchise tag on Bryant more than running back DeMarco Murray. The tag for receivers will cost approximately $12.3 million this season.
Last season, Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Jones also indicated that the Cowboys are more interested in placing the franchise tag on Bryant than Murray.
"Right now all things being equal, it's leaning more Dez with the franchise than it is not," Jones said. "But that doesn't mean it will stay that way.
"We don't ever want to give up on a long-term deal," Jones said. "It's something we worked on all of last year and it kind of cooled off once we got into the season. We'll continue to see what our options are and things happen quickly as you go along. Things can go along with a lot not going on, but all of a sudden it happens."
Bryant has expressed his interest in staying with the team in 2015, and a franchise tag could give both sides enough time to negotiate a long-term contract. According to Ed Werder of ESPN, he is unlikely to participate in offseason activities if he is tagged. Last season, Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns. The tag for receivers cost $12.3 million this season.
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