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Even with Dez Bryant release, Cowboys still don’t have to go receiver in first round

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It’s unlikely draft plans severely change.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The release of Dez Bryant certainly opens up a hole on the Dallas Cowboys roster.

Yes, Dallas is undoubtedly in need of help at the receiver position, but this was true before they released Dez. It’s been well-speculated for some time now that the Cowboys would draft a receiver with one of their first picks.

Considering their release of Bryant, many have now assumed it's a foregone conclusion that wide receiver will be the pick at #19. People have started envisioning Calvin Ridley, DJ Moore, and/or Courtland Sutton in a Dallas uniform, but that might not necessarily be the case.

The mothership’s Dave Helman had a great tweet related to this topic on Friday afternoon amidst all the Dez reactions. He very wisely compared this situation to that of DeMarcus Ware and defensive end from 2014.

It does stand to reason that Dallas won’t be in love with whatever receivers are available when they first come on the clock, at least not in love with them at that specific value. The same was somewhat true when the Cowboys were on the clock in 2014.

Of course, Dallas wisely selected Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin (when’s that new deal coming, by the way?) and then traded up to the top of the second round to nab the falling DeMarcus Lawrence. It worked out well for them looking back four years later.

Dallas has pressing needs beyond the wide receiver position at spots like linebacker and safety. One of those could be resolved by a trade for a certain player (you know what’s up), and the Dez Bryant release doesn’t preclude the Cowboys from going wherever they see fit with the 19th pick.

With 10 total picks in the draft the Cowboys have plenty of ammunition to move up in the second round should they choose to do so. It’d obviously be less expensive than getting back into the first round, and if someone like Maryland’s DJ Moore slid right past the first, Dallas could get their best player available and still nab their heir at wide receiver.