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Jerry Jones on Dez Bryant, “it was in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys”

We’re still absorbing the news that the Cowboys have released Dez Bryant.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-OTA Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dez Bryant was officially released today. It’s an emotional time for a lot of fans as the Cowboys all-time leader in touchdown receptions is now gone after eight seasons. For some fans, the writing has been on the wall and they have read it loud and clear. For others, we’ve been in a state of denial as it’s hard to fathom the team parting ways with their All-Pro pass catcher. There are many questions and we want answers, so what did Cowboys owner have to say?

He kept it brief, but Jerry Jones offered up this short statement on the release of Dez:

There are handful of arguments to make in favor of a Dez release. For starters, he was an expensive cap hit. Bryant would cost the Cowboys $16.5 million of cap space in each of the next two seasons. The Cowboys chose not to make him a post-June 1 cut. He’s now an $8 million dead money hit for this season, with his contract completely off the books in 2019. So maybe it was just about the money?

Or it could be his production. After three straight-seasons where he caught 88+ passes for 1,200+ yards from 2012 to 2014, he’s now had three-straight seasons of less than 70 catches for less than 850 yards.

Or maybe it’s his behavior? Stephen Jones has discussed his displays of passion as distractions and what if his energy is not being focused on where it needs to be like running efficient routes and hustling through each play?

Chances are, it’s a combination of all these things and all we really know is that Dez is no longer a Dallas Cowboy. So if Dez’ release is what’s best for the Cowboys, then what are the team’s plans going forward as it pertains to the wide receiver group? It almost seems like the team now needs to use their first-round pick on either Calvin Ridley or D.J. Moore. Are they all-in on those guys and banking on one being available? Or maybe they also love Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton and feel they can drive to a spot where they can select one of them? The Cowboys have shown an interest in a lot of wide receivers from this year’s draft class so they must have a few ideas on how they plan to address the position.

Then again, they didn’t wait until the draft to release Bryant. Why not? Do the Cowboys have something else up their sleeve? They have now freed up $8.5 million in cap space. Could an Earl Thomas trade be looming?

It’s hard to say what the Cowboys are thinking, but the team has a plan and as it turns out - Dez wasn’t a part of it. What do you think is next for the Cowboys on the heels of this big front office decision?