Cowboys Franchise Dez Bryant

The Cowboys knew going into the off-season that they would have to place the franchise tag on either Dez Bryant or DeMarco Murray. Murray had one of the best rushing seasons ever by a Dallas Cowboy, while Bryant continues to play like one best wideouts in the league. 

Lately there was a rumor swirling around that the Cowboys would place the franchise tag on their star wide receiver, and those rumors came true Monday as the team announced they would place the franchise tag on Bryant.

The tag doesn't necessarily secure Bryant's rights for 2015, but both sides are hoping to reach a long-term deal before the July 15th deadline. If no deal is reached, Bryant will play the season on the tag for $12.823 million. 

The only way the Cowboys could lose Dez is if a team were to give up two first-round picks, and if Dallas chooses not to match an offer sheet. 

At 26, Bryant is just reaching his peak, as he finished the 2014 season with a Cowboys-record setting 16 touchdown catches, to go along with 1,320 yards receiving. Bryant's 56 touchdowns in the last five years are the most by ANY wide receiver/tight end in the NFL. 

With Bryant likely to remain a Cowboy, DeMarco Murray's future with Dallas is still in question, as the team will allow him to explore offers from the market. Dallas will still make a strong push to retain Murray, who has clearly expressed his desire to remain a Cowboy, but teams could actively pursue the NFL's 2014 leading rusher and offer him a deal he can't resist.

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