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Cowboys news: Why Cowboys may be preparing for life without Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant hasn’t been able to reach 1,000 receiving yards since 2014, Stephen Jones is taking a hard line approach.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Has the door been opened to Dez Bryant's departure from Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones made some candid comments about Dez Bryant, is he preparing the Cowboys for life without Dez?

“We pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He’s aware of it as anybody when he talks to Jerry and myself,” Stephen Jones said. “He knows when you get paid that kind of money, there’s high expectations in terms of the productivity. Those are all things that we have to look at as a team, as an organization, when we start to put our team together for next year.”

Stephen Jones is talking tough about Cowboys players, contrary to his Dad - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Stephen Jones takes a tough stand with his players unlike his father, Jerry Jones, who treats them like family.

I, for one, applaud the direction that Stephen Jones’ comments are taking the team. You can debate Jerry Jones’ tenure as Cowboys owner and general manager, but one thing he tolerated a lot of was players who caused distractions. Jerry has been accused of being to close to his players, of sometimes letting emotion and loyalty get in the way of cold, hard business decisions. All NFL teams employ players who have issues and have caused distractions, but the Cowboys always seemed to dismiss the criticisms, especially if the players were helping the team. This is Jerry’s way.

How would Dez Bryant react if the Cowboys found another No. 1 receiver? - Staff, SportsDay
When the Cowboys are on the clock at pick 19, there are several different ways they could end up going if they stick to their "best player available" approach, including a fresh, young wide receiver. How would Dez Bryant react if the Cowboys drafted a WR in the first round? Kevin Sherrington weighs in.

Sherrington: And here’s the other thing, too. There’s all this talk in the offseason and then when the regular season starts, because in mind it’s clear whether they keep Dez or not they have to add another wide receiver, whether that’s through free agency or the draft. So if you get a guy that’s worth that, a guy who’s a really good receiver, can create some separation, can go up and get the ball when Dak throws it, if Dak finds that just like he did in 2016 with Cole Beasley, who was his favorite target, but how well is Dez going to take that? It’s one thing to say I can do this, I’ll be a great teammate, I’ll take a paycut. And then if another guy comes in and becomes a true No. 1. I think Dez could take that with Cole Beasley because he’s a little slot receiver. But if there’s a guy on the other side where it looks like he is the guy they’re going to go to in the red zone, the guy that’s going to be their touchdown-maker, then I think that’s going to be a completely different animal.

Things Causing Me To Scratch My Head This Time Of Year - Mickey Spagnola, Dallas Cowboys
Mick questions why things in the NFL happen the way they do and most importantly what's going on with the connection between Dez Bryant and Dak Prescott.

Dez-Dak: So, need help with this one. Dak was a rookie QB in 2016, never had played a down of NFL football. And remember, he rarely worked with Dez in camp since he was projected to be the third-string quarterback until Kellen Moore and then Tony Romo went down for basically the season. Dez spent most of the first half of the season recovering from the tibial fracture to his knee. But in the last eight games Bryant played in 2016, Games 9-15 (no stats in only 18 snaps in Game 16), and then the playoff loss to Green Bay, the two guys hooked up on 43 catches for 748 yards and eight touchdowns. As I’ve pointed out before, if you factor that over an entire season, Dez finished on a 16-game pace of 86 catches for 1,486 yards and 16 touchdowns. That with a rookie QB he had rarely worked with in the offseason and camp. Now, after Dez falls off to a team-leading 69 catches, for a team-leading 838 yards and a team-leading six touchdown receptions, suddenly the two aren’t on the same page. They need more time together. He doesn’t have the same rapport with Dak as he had with Romo. And this after Dez looking like a sure Pro Bowler during an exceptional training camp. This all leading to most everyone insisting the Cowboys should either cut Dez’s pay or cut him outright. Say what? What happened? Please help me.

After Watching Dez For Years, OSU’s Washington, Ateman Ready to Take Off - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Two wide receivers from Oklahoma State are hoping to follow in Dez Bryant's footsteps and make their ways to the NFL.

“It would be a dream to play for the Cowboys one day,” said Ateman, who had a breakout senior year with 59 catches for 1,156 yards in 2017. “Right now, I’m just enjoying all the coaching I’m getting here at the Senior Bowl. One thing teams keep telling me is that it’s one thing to be big, but I need to play big.”

Free agency rumors: Emmanuel Sanders reportedly “out” in Denver, could Texas-native head home to Cowboys? - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
The Broncos are potentially ready to rid themselves of Emmanuel Sanders, could a return to Texas be in order, or does Sanders simply have too many question marks?

The Broncos will likely be looking to deal Sanders but it remains to be seen if anyone will bite. However, if they end up outright releasing him to save almost $6 million against the cap this season, he should have a list of suitors. The Cowboys have to get serious about their receiving corps problems and it seems they are looking for help in that department. They have questions of their own surrounding Dez Bryant’s contract. They also had problems between the quarterback and receivers last season.

Five Thoughts On The Cowboys’ Future From Senior Bowl Week - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
After the success Philadelphia had in free agency last offseason, many fans are pondering if the Cowboys front office changes things up and makes a play at a couple of appealing names on the market. But as David Helman reports, Executive Vice President Stephen Jones seems pretty set in his ways about how the team approaches free agency.

I wouldn’t exactly call it news, because the Cowboys have operated by the same philosophy for several years now. But it’s always useful to get an affirmation from Stephen Jones about the Cowboys’ game plan for 2018:

”Right now we’re fortunate to have some really solid football players, great football players. Our goals are to keep our players. And when you start to look at DeMarcus Lawrence and you look at Zack Martin and then you look at a guy like Anthony Hitchens and David Irving, that’s a handful to keep your own -- much less go shopping for something else. We just really need to focus on this draft, do well in the draft, and then work the edges and work the opportunities we may see come our way that would improve our football team.”

That should sound pretty familiar, as it’s a similar plan we’ve seen these last five years. How exactly the Cowboys will follow it can be parsed together fairly logically.

Stephen Jones' evaluation of Ezekiel Elliott after 2 years? 'I think there is a lot to improve upon' - Brandon George, SportsDay
We all know how great Ezekiel Elliott is when he's on the football field, but how confident are we in his ability to stay out of trouble? Stephen Jones was asked about Elliott's ability to remain low key and out of the spotlight and here is what he had to say:

"I can only say you hope so," Jones said. "Zeke needs to answer that question. Obviously, right up through the start of last season, there were things that were popping up. We haven't seen that as of late and hopefully that's a good indicator that he understands. I know Zeke wants to be great -- I'm convinced of that, that he wants to be great. He's also got to understand that, to be great, you can't have these things that we call distractions and things of that nature. Things that take away, not only from him, but from our team."

David Irving unlikely to get long-term deal from Cowboys this offseason – Charean Williams, ProFootballTalk
VP Stephen Jones thinks it'll be really hard for the Cowboys to find room to get a long-term deal done with David Irving.

“It’ll be a difficult one and probably, if anything, he needs to put together a full season and consistency and all of that,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “Obviously played outstanding when he was healthy. DeMarcus Lawrence put together a full, great year, and obviously that’s important. Therefore, I think it’d be real difficult to figure out something long term with David.”

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