The Jones family loves Dez Bryant. They loved Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Tony Romo, too, and had to say good-bye.
Every time executive vice president Stephen Jones talks about Bryant, he seems to be steeling himself and the organization for what could be the end of the wide receiver’s days in Dallas.
On Tuesday, Stephen Jones compared the decision on Bryant’s future with the departures of Aikman, Smith and Irvin.
“Well, it’s difficult,” Jones said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “That’s the hard part about our business. That’s the way Jerry is. The way I am. You do get attached to these men. All amazing people that lay it on the line for the Cowboys, our fans, and no one respects them more than we do.
“When these times come, whether it’s Troy, whether it’s Emmitt, whether it’s Michael, when that time finally gets there it’s a difficult decision. You’ve see the press conferences when Troy retires or Michael retires, it’s a lot of emotion. And not to say Dez is at that point but all these decisions are very difficult, especially with great players who’ve done so much for our organization.”
Jones said the Cowboys have not met with Bryant’s representation, but it’s coming. The Cowboys aren’t likely to pay Bryant a $12.5 million salary with a cap figure of $16.5 million, considering he has not had a 1,000-yard season since 2014 and has not had a 100-yard game since November 13, 2016.
“I don’t have a time frame just yet,” Jones said of talks with Bryant’s representation. “Obviously, it’s going to happen sooner than later. . . . We have to continue to work on our end and see where we are going to end up on it.”
Bryant said last week that “everybody that ain’t with Dez Bryant, they can kiss my ass,” with plans to prove doubters wrong. He repeatedly has said he expects to return to Dallas next season, but it likely takes a pay cut for that to happen.