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Byron Jones could be the next Cowboys player to receive a tag, but that won’t happen for at least another two years.

The Cowboys likely will not use the franchise tag on any of their free agents. There is not a viable candidate among the 18 players set to be unrestricted free agents, but the closest might be left guard Ronald Leary. He is likely to see a big pay raise on the open market, but the Cowboys simply can’t afford him and the potential tag of more than $14 million for one season. Safety Barry Church could be another option, but a tag of roughly $11 million is too rich as well. The Cowboys will want to keep some of their free agents, but not with inflated prices.

Bryant suffered a broken foot in the season opener that led to essentially a lost season.

Stephen Jones wished there could have been a do-over, while understanding the process to get to a long-term deal can take time.

The downside of the tag for the team is the high cap figure. The Cowboys had to carry Bryant’s $12.8 million cap figure against their cap once free agency began, which played a part in their decision making in free agency. The downside of the tag for the player is the lack of guaranteed money over a long-term deal.

It can lead to frayed feelings, although the Cowboys and Bryant never got cross with each other.

The Portland Trail Blazers are trading Mason Plumlee and a 2018 second-round pick in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick via Memphis, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

These two top competitors for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference will therefore exchange centers in a move that signals their interest in pursuing that seed. At 24-30, Denver is currently a game ahead of Portland for that slot. Neither team has any reasonable chance at moving above the No. 8 seed.

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