A hot topic for the Cowboys this offseason is the future of Dez Bryant. Bryant’s production has been slipping the past few years, and this year he had the most drops of his career, making him a target of invective from parts of the fanbase. Part of the problem with Bryant is he’s being paid like one of the very best receivers in the league, and his cap hit in 2018 is huge at over $16 million. For a player who is producing like a run of the mill receiver, that is too much cheddar.
It would be hard for the Cowboys to release Dez if that was something they are even considering because he would count $8 million in dead money. So it’s generally believed that nothing will happen and life will go on in 2018 according to the contract. But in interviews today, both Jerry and Stephen Jones made comments that make you wonder if they have some other ideas rolling around in their noggins.
Jerry’s comments taken on their own might have been easily dismissed as something generic you might say when a player has a down season.
"Well, I think Dez is right. We need more from Dez. We need bigger plays," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "That's obvious to everybody is we didn't get big plays. I don't know that you ever get enough of them, but we certainly didn't get the amount that we have to have to change our fate here. And, so, I agree with him. We need to have bigger plays.
"There's a lot into that, but we've got to get more from -- he's [a] top player on our team. He certainly expects to make big plays, the expectation for Dak [Prescott] to get him the ball is there. We've gotten used to it. Yeah, we need more from that area."
Dez himself said he wants more production, but it is still interesting to hear Jerry go down that path instead of reflexively sticking up for Dez.
It was Stephen's words, though, that upped the ante. Here’s is Jeff Cavanaugh tweeting Stephen’s answers today about Dez.
'That's one obviously we'll be look at.' - Stephen Jones on the the future of Dez Bryant.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) January 2, 2018
He mentioned finding the solutions that's best for everyone. I asked if he was alluding to altering the contract and/or releasing he said 'that would be premature to talk about' https://t.co/ZBGoaxguAu— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) January 2, 2018
Hmm... Dez is under contract so why would they need to “look at” anything about his future? And it’s “premature” to talk about altering the contract or releasing him? That’s not standard speak from a front office about one of their star players who is under contract.
Are the Jones’ looking for Dez to a take a paycut? Or is it something else? They could extend him and soften his cap hit for this year, but why would you spend more money on an aging player who looks to be dropping off fast when you could release him without a huge financial hit after this year?
What say you BTB? Are the Jones’ laying the groundwork for an offseason move with Dez in some capacity?