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Dez Bryant, Cowboys headed toward franchise tag?

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Impending free agent DeMarco Murray has joined Tony Romo in the MVP discussion this season, but it's Dez Bryant who will be the Dallas Cowboys' top priority in the coming offseason.

Although contract negotiations broke down earlier in the season, owner Jerry Jones confirmed Tuesday morning via his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM that the franchise tag will come into play if necessary.

Bryant leads the NFL in touchdown receptions (14) this season and over the past three years (39). His value to Tony Romo has only increased with second-year wideout Terrance Williams struggling to consistently produce and aging tight end Jason Witten losing a step after the catch.

Even if the Cowboys remain concerned about Bryant off the field, they are going to have to shell out top-five wide receiver money to secure his future in Dallas beyond 2015.

Jones has previously vowed to keep Bryant in a Cowboys uniform for the rest of his career.

Contract negotiations can turn on a dime. If Jones can hammer out an agreement with Bryant by mid-February, the franchise and/or transition tag will be available for Murray.

Alternatively, the Cowboys can sign Murray to a long-term contract -- or grant Adrian Peterson's wish to finish his career in Dallas.

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