The Dallas Cowboys have had a few months now to ponder what life will be like without last season's top rusher DeMarco Murray. Now, receiver Dez Bryant wants them to imagine life without him in the picture too.
The mercurial pass-catcher has revealed through the media he is considering holding out of games this upcoming season if he and the Cowboys are unable to reach a deal on a long-term contract by the franchise-tag deadline of July 15.
"This is not a rumor," Bryant told NFL.com. "It's legit."
The Cowboys hit Bryant, 26, with the franchise tag, worth $12.823 million in 2015, earlier this year. He's yet to sign his tag so he's free to sit out the team's mandatory mini-camp next week without fear of financial loss.
However, if the stalemate continues and Bryant decides to make good on his threat and go the Emmitt Smith route and hold out the first two games of the season, he stands to lose more than $750,000 per game.
In 1993, Smith sat out the first two games of the season before signing a $13.5-million contract, making him the highest-paid running back at the time.
The leadership in Dallas seems to think when the season rolls around, Bryant will fall in line and play ball.
"I know how much he loves to play football," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, according to DallasCowboys.com. "I know how much he loves his teammates, I know how much he loves his team and I know how much money he's getting. With all of that, you play."