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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Release WR Dez Bryant

Jess Haynie

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Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys have released receiver Dez Bryant, ending an eight-year relationship with one of their biggest stars of the last two decades.

Releasing Bryant creates $8.5 million in salary cap space. He was scheduled to count $16.5 million against this year's salary cap. The remaining $8 million will count as dead money in 2018.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys have released WR Dez Bryant, source said. It's done.

This move isn't shocking. Dez has been targeted as a potential release for months, with some predicting that 2017 would be a make-or-break season.

Despite playing all 16 games, Bryant only managed 838 yards and six touchdowns on 69 catches. He was targeted 132 times, giving him one of the worst efficiency ratings of the league's starting receivers.

How much of this due to chemistry issues with Dak Prescott or the decline of Bryant's physical ability is hard to say. Whatever the factors, Dallas clearly could no longer justify paying Dez like one of the league's elite receivers without the production to support it.

Cowboys Blog - Dez Bryant Placed on Injured Reserve, 2015 Season Over

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

Bryant leaves Dallas as the franchise leader in receiving touchdowns, scoring 73 since entering the NFL in 2010. He passed "Bullet" Bob Hayes (71) last season on the all-time list.

Dez also ranks third in catches behind Jason Witten and Michael Irvin. He is fifth in receiving yardage behind Witten, Irvin, Tony Hill, and Drew Pearson.

Unfortunately, Bryant's physical playing style has contributed to his early decline. He also turns 30 in November, which isn't good for a player who relies so heavily on athleticism over technique.

Lately, there have also been whispers of a deteriorating relationship between Dez and the organization. Most importantly, there may be friction between Bryant as the starting quarterback.

Last December, after Dez caused two turnovers in the season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Dak Prescott made the following comment:

"I think I have to throw him a better ball. Just put it right there on his face mask and don’t give him a chance to drop it, I guess."

If that quote is any indication, things between Prescott and Bryant may not be great. And even if there is no locker room rift, their lack of chemistry on the field has been evident for two years.

Whatever the case or the cause, they definitely aren't each other's problem anymore.

Allen Hurns

Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns

Perhaps in anticipation of moving on from Bryant, Dallas signed free agent Allen Hurns to a contract paying him about $6 million per year. He will have the same base salary as Terrance Williams in 2018.

Given what we already know about Williams, Hurns seems like the best bet to emerge as the top receiver now.

In 2015, Allen had a 1,000-yard season to go along with 10 touchdowns. He was the second receiver, though, with Allen Robinson putting up even bigger numbers.

Terrance Williams isn't Allen Robinson, and Allen Hurns probably isn't either. The Cowboys may be going into 2018 with two secondary receivers at the top of the depth chart.

While the Cowboys have a solid depth chart at receiver, none of their current talent is going to be able to take over as the primary target on offense.

Thankfully, the NFL Draft is just two weeks away.

Dallas could easily be targeting a WR in the first round now, and probably should be. Not only could a top talent be useful this year, but Cole Beasley's contract is about to expire and Terrance Williams could be released next offseason.

The discussion of what's next at the receiver position is sure to rage on for a while. The glamour positions always get more attention.

Cowboys Blog - 1

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

What we know now is that one of the most glamorous players in Cowboys history is gone. No matter what happens on the field, Dez Bryant won't be easily replaced as a highlight-maker or in the hearts of Cowboys fans.

Even if you feel that moving on from Dez was the right move, it's still a sad day. Bryant never got a chance to enjoy championship success with the Cowboys and was certainly talented enough to do so.

His best chance in 2014 was taken away by one of the biggest blown calls in NFL history. The biggest play of his career will be remembered for what it stole from the team, and from Dez himself.

If only we could turn back time. If that catch in Green Bay would have been called correctly, the Cowboys were poised to go on to bigger and better things. Dez Bryant, like Tony Romo, was good enough to win it all. Unfortunately, circumstances never allowed for it to happen.

While the team hasn't enjoyed the Super Bowl success that it did in the 70s or 90s, Bryant has been one of the most entertaining players in recent memory, and one of the top receivers in the league for most of his career.

The Cowboys expected a lot when they gave Dez Bryant that #88 jersey, and he's done a fine job of carrying on the legacy of Pearson and Irvin.

But now we say goodbye, and look ahead to a Dallas without Dez.

Time will tell if it was the right move.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Corey

    April 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I honestly think this was the dumbest move Jerry could have made. Now who is Dak going to throw the ball to? Hopefully Allan Hurns can step up because Terrance Williams needs a net to catch anything, and Beasley and Switzer are ok. Dallas is almost going to have to go after a WR in the 1st. rd. and they may have to trade up to do it.

    • Hector Espindola

      April 14, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      I do agree, WR seems coming at 1st round. That’s why the stacked the D line. So, 1Tech also will fall beyond 4th, LB at 2nd and G at 3rd, if no trades are done.

  2. Saul Molina

    April 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Hey it is what it is I love dez but numbers don’t lie ever since he got the contract he hasn’t produced wish him all the best but one thing I will tell you homie this little rumor that supposedly you said you were going to go to the division rivals go ahead we will see you twice a year Lewis and chidobe will be waiting on you and lee smith and heath will be waiting and will not hesitate to light that ass up

  3. oneputter

    April 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    i said it all of last year and even his rookie season, dak can only see one side of the field. he holds on to the ball too long, he waits for WR’s to get 10 yds of spereration, this is the NFL not NCAA. a lot of this “lack of chemistry” is on dak. we’ll see how he has developed this off season

    big mistake to get rid of dez, they should have at least bit the bullet this year, more of a chance to restructure next year.

    oh well, we are the cowboys and we continue to do stupid stuff, are any of you surprised?

    he goes to a division rival and i guarantee he lights us up…..

  4. Steve

    April 13, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I was up in the air about the move myself, but as Saul said “numbers don’t lie” and I believe we move on with Hurns as our #1 and Williams as the #2 for this year Beas/Switzer in the slot and I’m sure we will draft a wideout in the 1st this yr. I appreciate Dez and all that he did, BUT one thing for sure is Dak and We fans dont have to deal with his pouty a$$ when he doesn’t get the ball thrown to him or whenever he drops it and blames everybody but himself! Onward and upward with BIG D!!!!

  5. Derek Robinson

    April 14, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    No doubt this was the best business decision for the team. But the worst for fans of number 88. This guy was my favorite player on the team. And I loved every dynamic play he ever made for my Boys. But I think once the draft is over and camp starts, and we make our final cuts to get our 53 man roster. Dez want really be missed that much. This will be a totally new offence. No more 1st and goals trying to throw to Dez on every down. No more predicting our plays before we’re even out of the huddle. “All New” Think about paying a employee an outrageous amount of money for the next 2 year, knowing it would only get worse.

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Cowboys Offseason: Landon Collins Cleaned Out Locker, Set to be FA

John Williams

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Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsNYG: Dealing With Giants Safety Landon Collins

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2019 offseason looking to upgrade at the safety position on a defense that finished inside the top 10 in 2018. With much of the focus on Earl Thomas, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins has become the center of attention in the last couple of days.

Per a report by Josina Anderson, Collins cleaned out his locker on Wednesday as he gets ready to go into free agency for the first time.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

I'm told that Giants S Landon Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers. It doesn't seem like Collins expects to be a Giant for much longer, per sources.

After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...

Paul Schwartz on Twitter

Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.

And Landon Collins had this to say...

https://twitter.com/TheHumble_21/status/1098315997839265792

If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.

The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.

Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.

The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.

Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.

Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.

We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.



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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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