Dallas Cowboys scouting chief Will McClay chimed in on the release of Dez Bryant publicly for the first time Tuesday on ESPN 103.3 FM.
McClay pointed to what the Cowboys saw on tape from Bryant during the 2017 season as reasons for his departure.
“It was a collective deal,” McClay said. “The (inability) to win one-on-one, to win down field. There was inconsistency as well as some huge things in his play. So what’s best moving forward for Dez Bryant the Cowboys, we just made that decision. It’s a production-based business.”
McClay said the decision was tough because of the love he and the Cowboys have for Bryant. He called him one of the all-time greats, a fan favorite and a future Hall of Famer. But he said the Cowboys had to do what was best for the franchise.
“You have to make a decision to make sure you succeed and hold that trophy up,” McClay said.
Bryant remains unsigned after being released by the Cowboys April 13. He has already turned a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens and is looking for the right situation on a one-year prove it deal so he can be a free-agent again next season.
He has not had a 1,000 yards receiving since 2014 and blames his decline in production on injuries, a lack of focus and a predictable offense. He had 69 catches for 838 yards, six touchdowns in 2017.
The Cowboys are using a committee approach to replace Bryant. The team signed Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson in free agency. They added Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson in the draft. They traded Ryan Switzer to the Oakland Raiders and acquired Tavon Austin in a trade from the Los Angeles Rams.
The key holdovers are Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Noah Brown.