The Cowboys are not going to pay Dez Bryant a $12.5 million base and take a $16.5 million cap charge next season for a wide receiver who has no 1,000-yard seasons the past three seasons, doesn’t click with quarterback Dak Prescott and occasionally blows up on the sideline. The question is: Do they want to keep Bryant, and if so, how much are they willing to spend on him?
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones admitted the team has a lot to weigh when deciding Bryant’s future this offseason.
“Tony [Romo] certainly his game, they kind of tailored it to one another,” Jones said on the team website, via Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News. “When Dak came in, he certainly is not going to play the game exactly like Tony played the game. I think it hasn’t ever just hit on all cylinders yet in term of how Dak-and-Dez the connection works. I think it’s a work in progress. I think it could improve if given the opportunity.
“The other thing that we all see and it is certainly visible to anyone who watches our games, watches our sideline, is Dez is certainly a fiery guy who plays with a lot of emotion both on and off the field. Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez; it can be a distraction for other teammates. We just have to really get our hands around when you put all the full body of work together where that’s headed.
“Of course, we pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He’s as aware of it as anybody. . . . He knows when you get paid that kind of money there’s high expectations in terms of the productivity. . . . Those are all things we have to look at as a team, as an organization when we start to put our team together for next year.”
Bryant has indicated he will resist a pay cut, but the Cowboys already have paid Bryant all $45 million of his guaranteed money. So Bryant’s future currently is in the Cowboys’ hands.