Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys will be mindful of how much work they give to Sean Lee and Tony Romo, among others, in training camp but they will also have a plan for Dez Bryant.
As Bryant waited for the five-year, $70 million deal that he signed last week, he sat out of almost all the offseason program. Bryant worked out at Valley Ranch a handful of times and took part in individual drills in one organized team activity.
“We’ve got to get our hands around Dez and he hadn’t been in a competitive offseason training [program] and we want to make sure that you just don’t throw him right to the wolves,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said at the opening of the Dallas Cowboys Club at DFW International Airport. “I know he works hard but there is nothing like working with your teammates in a competitive environment. I think it’s a little different.”
With the investment the Cowboys made in Bryant, there is no need to risk a possible injury from overwork, especially early in training camp. Bryant has had minor back troubles in the past and there is no doubt he will be in great shape, but the Cowboys could look to limit the amount of snaps he gets as he gets into football shape.
Just having Bryant signed in time for camp is a big bonus for the Cowboys. Jones said Bryant signed the contract with about 30 minutes to spare before last week’s franchise tag deadline.
“If you’re going to get something done it’s time to put your best deal out there,” Jones said. “I give Dez and his group a lot of credit. We knew we were going to be pushed and I think we made the right decision, no question. Dez is an important part of this team and obviously I think has a chance to be one of the great players to ever play for this franchise, if not the league.”
Did he believe Bryant could skip camp or maybe even a regular-season game or two?
“There’s no need to speculate on that. We’re concentrating on moving forward,” Jones said. “He’s going to be a great player for us. We needed him out there in camp Day 1. We didn’t need distractions and it’ll be great to have him.”