Mac Engel

After all of this, the Cowboys should let Dez Bryant go

After eight seasons with the Cowboys, receiver Dez Bryant might have to catch on somewhere else.
After eight seasons with the Cowboys, receiver Dez Bryant might have to catch on somewhere else.

The scenario brewing at The Star is not War of the Roses but Jerry vs. Stephen. And it's the most entertaining development during the off-season for America's Most Maddening Team.

A meeting between Dez Bryant and the Cowboys has been on the to-do list since the first week of January, and we are fast approaching the time for the team to have its face-to-face with the player who, despite recent acquisitions, remains their top wide receiver.

It's a little surprising they aren't selling tickets.

The last time Jerry Jones had a slight disagreement with his son, and a redhead he employs, over a certain wide receiver was in 2008. The team did not have a consensus on Terrell Owens.

Jerry wasn't so sure about T.O., but Stephen Jones and then-offensive coordinator Jason Garrett were resolute: Owens had to go.

In front of T.O. and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, Jerry famously took a Sharpie to paper and drew an arc above an assortment of names, with "Dallas Cowboys" at the top; the point was, the name at the top was more important than those below.

However the scenario with this receiver ultimately plays out, considering the player involved and how things have evolved this off-season, the safest course of action is to let Dez go.

Make no mistake, Dez Bryant is not T.O. When the Cowboys cut T.O., he was 35 and had alienated himself from the locker room, including the offensive coordinator and the quarterback. T.O. was no longer worth the drama.

When this off-season began and talk of a pay cut swirled, Dez had leverage. The Dallas Cowboys' addition of Spare 1 and Spare 2 at wide receiver changes that.

Despite love language from the new receivers coach and the Chief Optimist in Charge — Jerry — the Cowboys' actions are telling the former darling receiver exactly what they think of him.

Start with the cryptic words from Garrett and Stephen earlier this off-season, and then go to the Cowboys' jumping into the Manager's Special rack of NFL free agency when they added receivers Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns.

All you need to know about Thompson is that he played for two teams last season, Chicago and Buffalo. The Bears and the Bills are two teams whose passing offenses were worse than Dallas'. Chicago finished 32nd in passing, Buffalo 31st, and the Cowboys just plucked away one of their receivers.

Thompson caught 38 passes last season. Hurns, who was with Jacksonville last season, had one more reception last year than Thompson.

Right now, Dak Prescott must be thinking what we all know: Dez Bryant is still his best choice on the outside.

Nonetheless, the Cowboys have intentionally created an awkward situation for any future team meetings or practice huddles involving Dez.

The Cowboys have to cut Dez Bryant.

If they thought Dez was an issue before, just wait until his feelings are hurt, or he's been devalued.

And, assuming Dez is dumped, if the Cowboys didn't think they had a true No. 1 receiver in 2017, just wait 'til 2018.

Even if Dez accepts a pay cut, this relationship is now fractured to the point not even Jerry's best sales pitch can save it.

Dez is an emotional soul who feels everything, and Jerry can't change what Eight-Eight sees: His Cowboys don't love him the same way.

Specifically, the head coach and The Sheriff, Stephen Jones, don't want Dez anymore. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan surely has a vote in this matter, too.

In the collective minds of the Cowboys' "brain trust" (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one), Dez is the former trophy girlfriend who was all kinds of crazy but just so "hot" they could deal with tantrums and the emotion.

Before he was drafted out of Oklahoma State, NFL types warned the world, and Jerry, to stay away from Dez for exactly these reasons. Among others. Jerry grabbed him with the 24th pick in 2010.

A little personality has never scared Jerry. But that was in 2010.

We are in 2018, and Dez will turn 30 this season.

As a receiver, Dez was never going to age well. He was never a beautiful route runner with gorgeous hands, like Larry Fitzgerald. Dez is fearless and physical. That type of player doesn't transition well after 30.

Nonetheless, the Cowboys are still fooling themselves about their receivers. Dak is good, but he has not shown he can turn a decent receiver into a great one.

Today, his receiving corps consists of Dez , Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Hurns, Thompson, Noah Brown and Ryan Switzer. Throw in a draft pick or two, too.

Dez is the best of the lot, but to the Cowboys, Spare 1 and Spare 2 are better alternatives.

There is no way this can work. Let Dez go.

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