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Mailbag: What Does Nelson's New Deal Mean For Dez?

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BOBBY BESHK
CHICAGO, IL
Now that Jordy Nelson just signed a 4 year, $39 million contract with the Packers, how does that affect Dez's situation? I can't see Dez getting less than Jordy, and $10 million a year seems to go against the new "cap conscious" Cowboys.

Nick: The Cowboys will keep Dez Bryant at whatever the price it takes. If that's the going rate for a Top 5 receiver like Dez, then the Cowboys will pay it. You say "cap conscious" but name a player Jerry Jones has ever let go that he really wanted. They might be cautious of paying too much for guys who aren't proven. Dez is clearly one of the best receivers in the game and he's a better player than Jordy Nelson. So if that's what Nelson got, then you can best believe Dez will ask, and probably get, a little bit more.

David: Even with the big payday, Nelson's contract only gives him the eighth-highest salary among receivers in the league, and his guaranteed money is nowhere near as gaudy as others. Dez's contract is going to be big, but I think the Cowboys will find a way to make it work without going overboard. There's no doubt it's going to be a big number on the salary cap, but that's the cost of retaining one of the game's five or six best receivers.

JASON YEARY
STAUNTON, VA
Can we just go ahead and cut Matt Johnson? Does he really have that much potential that the Cowboys are willing to overlook his inability to stay in practice let alone get onto the field?

Nick:It'd be one thing if this was Miles Austin – a guy who was proven and you're just hoping that maybe, possibly, he could get back to his old self. But with Johnson, you really don't know what his "old self" is. And that might be the very reason you hang onto him. I think it's the very reason you cut ties. It's a sad deal because the kid has tried so hard to make it but his body won't agree with him. When you think about a guy who dreams of playing in the NFL and has done everything in his power to get there, but for some weird reason, his body won't cooperate, it's a sad deal. From a [embedded_ad] business standpoint, I think the Cowboys have to be at the point where it's time to move on. Maybe not right now, but just rehab him and let him go until the end of camp but I would think his time is running out.

David: If this is indeed an injury that's going to sideline him for a significant period of time – that is, more than a few days to a week – then yes, it might be time to call it a day. There are seven other safeties on the roster right now, and four of them have a definitive leg up on Johnson. It's a heartbreaking aspect of the league, but the Cowboys shouldn't feel comfortable dedicating so much time and energy to a roster spot that isn't giving them anything in return. Hopefully for Johnson's sake, and for the sake of the coaching staff that sees so much potential in him, this doesn't turn into another major setback. That said, it's hard to feel confident.

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