With their playoff dreams now dead following the 21-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday at AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys will soon turn their attention to the off-season and re-making the team for the future.
One issue that is expected to be addressed is receiver Dez Bryant and his contract.
Bryant made $13 million in 2017 and is expected to make $12.5 million in 2018 as part of a five-year, $70 million deal he signed before the 2015 season.
A disappointing 2017 has been the trifecta of three consecutive subpar seasons since he signed the contract.
The first two were blamed on injuries, but Bryant's 66 catches for 815 yards so far in 2017 has raised questions about whether he still an elite receiver.
He has not recorded a 100-yard receiving game all season and leads the Cowboys with 12 drops, including two on Sunday. He also had a fumble that led to a Seattle touchdown that came after he seemingly complained between series on the sideline about not getting involved.
Bryant had three catches for 44 yards in the game.
Could the Cowboys ask Bryant to take a pay cut or be cut in the off-season?
Owner Jerry Jones refused to speculate.
"I don’t even want to visit with that. We have a lot of respect for all the good things that Dez brings. He’s come a long way and made some serious positive contributions to the team. I wouldn’t today get into any prognosis or evaluation or prediction about what we’re doing with a player other than the fact that you can look at their agreements and their contracts and know that we have them on the team,” Jones said.
Jones did allow that they needed more from Bryant on Sunday.
Bryant and quarterback Dak Prescott have struggled with chemistry issues all season because of a lack of separation and seemingly being out of sync on the back shoulder fade.
But one thing Prescott shouldn't have to worry about his top receiver dropping passes that hit him in both hands.
“I think I have to throw him a better ball," Prescott said. "Just put it right there on his face mask and don’t give him a chance to drop it, I guess.”