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Mailbag: July 15 Significance For Dez, Cowboys? WR Options?

BOBBY BERMEAPORTLAND, OR

What does the July 15 deadline mean? Does that mean they don't negotiate anymore if no deal? Dez Bryant would definitely hold out no matter what? The Cowboys can't change their minds on July 16 -- or Sept. 8 -- and give Dez what he wants?

Bryan: Nope. Under the way the rules are set up – after the 15th if no deal is struck then Bryant must sign his tender in order to play. He can wait until November to sign it as well and play the final six games. If Bryant signs the tender then we will most likely go through this exact same off season in '16.

Rob:July 15 is the drop-dead date to get a long-term deal done this year. Period. That means this is a different ballgame than 1993 when Emmitt held out two games and then got a deal worked out. Dez says he'd hold out if no deal, and if he did, there's no going back to negotiating table until after the season. He could sit out training camp without losing any money, and if he chose to sit out games he'd lose about $750,000 each week, or 1/17th of the $12.8 million tag salary. As Bryan said, Nov. 17 is the final date for a franchised player to sign the tender in order to play in 2015 – six games on an active roster is required to qualify for an accrued NFL season.

RANDY SNYDERNEWALLA, OK

Let's just assume that Dez Bryant does indeed hold out. What are the Cowboys' options at receiver and would the Joneses accept his holdout as "just business"?

Bryan: Both sides know what's at stake here so they will continue to treat it as just business. These types of talks are never easy on the front office or the player, and because of this particular player it's even tougher. Terrance Williams would likely start as the X receiver and Devin Street would line up at the Z. The front office also has a group of young receivers that are rookies that they need to evaluate as well.

Rob: OK, hypothetically, let's say Dez wasn't on the field opening night against the Giants. Tony Romo would rely a lot more on Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and of course, Jason Witten. By then, you'd expect the running back rotation to be sorted out, too, because the run game was Romo's best friend last year. It's wild to imagine even the possibility of a holdout for one game, much less multiple games. Back during minicamp, Jerry said he was confident Dez would be there for Week 1 no matter what. Guess we'd have to see. But hey, there's still a little time left to get something done.

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