Are Cowboys Prepping To Kiss Dez Bryant Goodbye?

Mike Fisher
April 10, 2018 - 8:17 am
Dez Bryant

Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - A few days before Dez Bryant took a family vacation to Australia, he addressed the issue of his loyalty to the Dallas Cowboys - and his view on reciprocation.

"I want to be a part of the star,'' he told "Ben & Skin'' on 105.3 The Fan. "I really give a damn about Dallas. I really give a damn about the Dallas Cowboys. It means everything to me. I want to bring this city a championship. I want to be a part of that because I believe it can happen.’’

The team's heart-and-soul leader added, "If anybody ain't with Dez Bryant, they can kiss my ass.”

As official team workouts are about to begin Monday inside The Star, there looms the very real possibility that the Cowboys aren't going to kiss his ass ... but will, rather, kiss him goodbye.

The 'Dump Dez' concept was born about two months ago, when Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones openly noted that Bryant's contract needed to "be addressed.'' Stephen at different times used the word "distraction'' in conjunction with the player. At the time, I assumed Stephen was attempting to negotiate Bryant's contract via the media, sure, but more, was attempting to "negotiate behavior.''

But Stephen's fiery campaign continued, even as father Jerry Jones worked to tamp down the flames. Through it all, Dez has suggested to me that he's "at peace'' with his place.

But the "peace'' isn't shared by a few too many people inside the building. 

Beyond Stephen's words, the Cowboys took action in this direction with the failed free-agency pursuit of Sammy Watkins -- a hint that Dallas viewed Watkins as being superior to Dez, who would've been released had he accepted Dallas' offer instead of Kansas City's. When the Cowboys eventually signed Allen Hurns, I spoke to Dez, who issued a warm welcome to Hurns and said how much he looked forward to playing with him.

That was Dez' intention. It wasn't necessarily the club's.

Being signed to a $16-mil-deal to replace Dez - yes, that was the Day One plan for Dallas in free agency - is on his shoulders. And then we progressed to Week Two of the offseason, and Dez was still dangling while the Cowboys hosted and then signed Allen Hurns, which gained a warm welcome from Dez via my conversation with him here.

The debate over "who's at fault'' here is almost over. The Cowboys have had two months to debate the merits of Bryant vs. the savings and dead money that comes with his release. Bryant is set to make $12.5 million in 2018 and has a $16.5 million cap figure. The Cowboys can release him and save $8 million (while eating $8.5 mil in dead money). They can designate him a post-June 1 cut and save $12 million and he will count $4 million against the 2019 cap.

They could also renegotiate his contract in a more club-friendly way, and I'm on-record as favoring some version of that in order for Dallas to retain one of its most important players.

 But Monday is when this team comes together. If you think about it that way, the clock on formulating a decision is running out. It'll be time to for the Cowboys to reunite and greet each other with "hello's'' ... and maybe time for Dez Bryant to be told "goodbye.''