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Counterpoint: Why Cowboys Will Dump Dez Bryant

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Wishlist #SNF Edition: Dallas Cowboys @ Oakland Raiders 1
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

With Dez Bryant being one of the most discussed topics among Cowboys fans right now, I decided to write a two-part series regarding his future as a Dallas Cowboy. Last Saturday, I wrote a case in favor of Dez remaining on the team for 2018, but is that the best option for the team?

Since signing a $70M contract after 2014, Bryant hasn't been the guy he was supposed to be.

Over the last three years, it's really, really tough to consider him among the top wide receivers in the NFL. Even though some fans are reluctant to admit it, the truth is Bryant no longer belongs in the same tier as Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.

He isn't elite.

He's still very talented, sure. He's actually a good football player.

However, with Dez the question becomes: Is he $16.5M good? That's the amount of money he'll get paid if he doesn't take a pay cut before next season.

It's not about him being good enough to be a starter in the NFL, because he is. But a player who gets paid like that must justify the cap space he occupies. Bryant doesn't do that.

Dez Bryant, Lions

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

The "He was better when Tony Romo was the quarterback" is indeed, true. That doesn't mean that Dak Prescott is the problem, though. His play style is just different from Romo's. Looking at players like Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins play great with mediocre quarterbacks is more than enough to debunk that argument.

Dak Prescott may get to a point in his career in which he plays more aggressive. Someday, he may be willing to throw contested balls he wouldn't before. For now though, Dez might not be the guy who'll become Dak's best friend.

If Bryant is willing to take a pay cut, it'd be a different story.

Maybe he was asked at a time when emotions were running high, but his response when asked if he would take a pay cut was plain and simple: "Hell no." 

We often complain about the way the front office handles free agency in a quiet way, but that has a lot to do with how much cap space they can work with. Is it time for them to adopt a tougher approach? One in which, if a player simply isn't justifying his salary on the field, he's gone?

The task of retaining DeMarcus Lawrence, Anthony Hitchens and David Irving is not an easy one at all. $18M in cap space won't cut it. The Dallas Cowboys will have to make moves in order to keep guys who contributed a lot to this football team, and who could be the foundation of a very good defense in the coming years.

They can restructure a ton of players, or part ways with some guys, who'll free up around two or three million. Releasing Dez Bryant would save the Cowboys $8.5M in 2018. At a point, Stephen Jones & Co. must look at parting ways with one of the most iconic players in franchise history as a real possibility.

As a young Dallas Cowboys fan, Dez has been one of my favorite players to watch. Ultimately though, it comes down to the fact that he's getting paid more than what he's worth.

Tell me what you think about "Counterpoint: Why Cowboys Will Dump Dez Bryant" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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9 Comments
  • EverybodyTalks

    I wonder if they have the guts to do it? If they do, then they have the money for Lawrence, Irving and Hitchens. That is 3 for 1, maybe 4 if they can also sign Zack Martin long term. Hanna gives us another 3.5 and Mayowa another 3 million. There are also 10 picks in the next draft for Dallas, assuming 4 compensatory picks. WRs could be one of the high picks, with Dez and Butler no longer here. Still, there are questions on that move? Is Noah an alternative for one of those two? Can they find an WR in the draft that can be used effectively THIS year? The percentages aren’t there for that. It will be interesting to watch how this all rolls out..

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      That’s the correct question. Who knows if they will be willing to do it. Stephen Jones has made comments that sound like they’re taking a tougher approach to this situation, but who knows. Thanks for reading!

      • John Williams

        Money isn’t going to be an issue to get done what they want to get done. Whether it’s through restructures, releases, and extensions, they’ll be able to make the math work even at Dez’s hefty number.

  • oneputter

    we can’t release him, we still need him. no way can a rookie wr come in here and take the #1 role. we don’t have any others who can step up into that spot. but i also think dez is not a #1, he needs to be told that he will play out of the slot and design some plays for him to work the middle of the field. short crossing routes, corner routes from the slot, drags, slants, etc……put this dez situation on the coaching staff not dak and dez.

    unless we make a play for jarvis landry?

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

      I spent the first half of 2017 bitching that Dez wasn’t given more routes across the middle. He’s a tough, physical receiver, and not a burner, so that should be his sweet spot. Well, they finally started giving middle routes, and Dez became a drop machine (including several tipped INTs). So idk.

      • Mauricio Rodriguez

        I got to agree with Bryson here. It’s an interesting point, to be honest. We can say “No rookie can come in here and take the #1 role” when really, I’m not sure Dez is doing so himself. Thanks for reading

        • John Williams

          I don’t know what was up with Dez. I’m gonna chalk it up to a down year. I think he’s still the guy that can be who he was at the end of 2016. Those drops were not Dez like.

      • oneputter

        i don’t think we can blame all the drops on dez, he did drop passes but if the ball is 2′ behind or above and he tries to make a play, then how is that on him? yes there were some that hit him right in the hands and he dropped them but i think it comes from frustration, losing focus. he does have things to work on. hopefully he realizes that and does so…..i hope he/they can work to restructure his contract.

        • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

          I only call it a drop if it hit the palms of his hands. Too much “just happens” otherwise. But my point was that if he’s in the middle a lot, he’s involved more but has what seems like a lot of key drops, and if he’s outside more, he’s not as involved in the game, but doesn’t have the key drops. And by key, I just mean on plays for first down and a TD. Just speculation from memory though. It’s frustrating.

Star Blog

The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle Heating Up 1

Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.

The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.

As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.

Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.

Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.

Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.

I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.

All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.

How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?



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Star Blog

Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?

Brian Martin

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Decision not to Play Dan Bailey against the 49ers a Concern? 1

With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.

Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.

I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.

I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?

Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.

Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.

Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.

Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?



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Star Blog

Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

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Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

Let me start this article with a strong opening statement: The Cowboys will be better in 2018 than they were in 2017. There's been a lot of talk about the lack of a true No. 1 receiver. But when we break it down, the current setup will most likely play out better for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

The Dak Stats

Certain quarterbacks shine when they have that go-to playmaker. We're talking about guys like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson, Ocho Cinco, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Dez Bryant. But other QBs do better at reading the defense and quickly adapting to what is given. Dak Prescott is the latter breed of QB.

Let’s do a quick numbers exercise to prove this.

When Prescott is targeting 8 or more receivers throughout the game, his passer rating jumps from 86.1 (targeting less than 8) to 104.5. He passes for almost 50 yards more per game and his touchdown to interception ratio drastically improves from 21-13 to 24-4.

Most importantly, when he targets at least 8 different receivers, the Cowboys are 14-2. When he targets less than 8, the team is just .500 at 8-8.

Without a doubt, Prescott is much better at adjusting to what the defense is giving him. He just isn’t one of those guys who can successfully "force" the ball (like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees). Not feeling the pressure of having to get the ball into the hands of the star playmaker will give this offense a new kind of depth in 2018.

Yes, losing Jason Witten hurts, much more so in my opinion than not having Dez.

Questions Still Loom

This is still the Cowboys' biggest concern on offense. There is some great depth. We have Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, and the young stud out of Stanford, Dalton Schultz. But between the three who have any NFL experience, there are only 9 catches between them. I must say that Dalton, with his 4.75 40-yard dash, has a legitimate shot at seeing a lot of playing time in his rookie campaign and could become an impact player with his size (6’5”, 244-lbs) and speed.

But despite the battle for TE being wide open, and debates about whether or not the team needs a No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys are still expected to give the Eagles a run for their money in the NFC East. Here are the odds on the defending NFC East champions and how (although early) it is expected to shake out:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles -167
  2. Dallas Cowboys +350
  3. New York Giants +650
  4. Washington Redskins +750

NFC East Week 1 Predictions

The Cowboys open the season in a difficult road game against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been listed as 2.5-point favorites (follow the Cowboys NFL Odds here all season long) which isn’t surprising considering they are a tough team playing at home. You might be thinking, "crap, we're opening up as underdogs?" Don’t worry too much; it actually bodes fairly well because the lines-makers generally give a 3-point advantage to the home team. This means that they actually handicap the Cowboys to be a half-point favorite on a neutral field and a 3.5-point favorite in Arlington.

The Redskins open their season in Arizona against the Cardinals. The line is set at a pick ‘em (meaning there is no point spread; it's anyone's game). But, looking at the 'Skins and Cardinals, I think Washington gets disappointed in Week 1 and starts their season with a loss.

The Giants get to test their new offensive line and see if they were right in continuing to place their faith in Eli Manning against the best defense in the league. The Jags are 3-point favorites at MetLife stadium. This means the Jags are actually 6-points better. I do think that the Giants will be vastly improved this season, but they are also going to open with a loss.

The Eagles don’t have it easy either, but they will probably pull out the win at home as 4-point favorites against the Dirty Birds on Thursday Night Football. Their defense is just too good. Atlanta's road offense scored just 21 points per game last year while Philly scores 28 on average at home. The Eagles' home defense has been downright nasty, only allowing 12 points per game in Philadelphia.

This will be a two-horse race for the division between the Eagles and Cowboys. And even if the Eagles win the East, the Cowboys will wildcard into the playoffs.



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