The Dallas Cowboys aren’t budging in their negotiations with Dez Bryant, their All-Pro wide receiver who is under the franchise tag for next season but wants a hefty contract on a long term deal, and is willing to take the negotiations to a higher level, which means holding out, missing training camp or even the first game of the season.

Image: Source

Image: Source

Head coach, Jason Garrett: That’s {Bryant missing the first game of the season] being floated by other people. We’re not really focused on that. Dez is getting ready to come to work. He’s going to work hard every day, whether he’s in the building or outside the building. Dez loves football. He’s got a great passion for the game. He’s got a great passion for our team. He’ll take care of his business. We’ll take care of our business, and hopefully all that stuff will be worked out sooner rather than later.

But what Bryant wants just isn’t going to happen. The contracts Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald got from the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals skewed the markets, and aren’t something teams are looking to repeat or copy off. Bryant is a great player, maybe the best wide receiver in the NFL, but looking for that kind of deal is going to leave him disappointed.

Stephen Jones, Cowboys vice president: This is an environment, especially with the wide receiver market, that it’s not easy to get your hands around. The top wide receivers have been paid in the $11 million to $12 million range and that makes it difficult. Once we figure it out, there’s a way for us to get it done with Dez. Until that happens, what teams think versus what the players and their representatives think, there’s a wide gap right now.

Bryant will be paid $12.8 million next season if the Cowboys and his agent don’t agree on a long term deal by July 15. Bryant can obviously skip training camp and that won’t cost him money. He can also hold out up to 10 games this season, but that means losing money, and the two sides can’t sign a deal until the season is over anyway if things go that far.

Orlando Scandrick, Cowboys cornerback: It’s a job. And at the end of the day, he’s got a family and he’s got to do what’s best for him. If you respect him as a man and as a teammate, you’ve got to support your teammate through whatever he goes through. I talk to Dez periodically, and I support him through whatever he’s going through.

Quotes via ESPN