Report: Cowboys’ coaches think Dez Bryant is slipping physically

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Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is 29 years old, and may already be past his prime.

That’s the word from Albert Breer of, who reports that the Cowboys’ coaches began to see Bryant slip physically in 2015 and now think he just isn’t the same player he was when the Cowboys signed him to a five-year, $70 million contract. That physical decline is measurable, as Bryant has lost inches on his vertical jump.

“Based on last year,” one member of the Cowboys’ staff told Breer, “he does very few things really well.”

Bryant was averaging 1,312 yards a season in the three years before he signed his contract. In the three years since signing his contract, Bryant has averaged 678 yards a season. Given that Bryant is owed $12.5 million, it’s easy to see the Cowboys cutting him.

However, Jerry Jones has always liked Bryant, and it’s Jones’s team. It’s possible that Jones will decide to give Bryant another year to prove himself. But it’s also possible that Bryant, who once looked likely to be a Cowboy for life, could be gone before turning 30.

67 responses to “Report: Cowboys’ coaches think Dez Bryant is slipping physically

  1. It’s obvious to anyone who’s paying attention that Bryant is losing it physically. He can’t make the plays the way he used to. And while he may be slipping physically, he’s already lost it mentally. He’s highly emotional and is too often a distraction. That’s not “competitiveness”–it’s simply jackassery. The Cowboys should try to trade him if they can. His stock is falling rapidly.

  2. He has always been a horrible route runner resulting in lack separation from the defender. He could however get above the defender. He is having a tougher time doing that now. If he wants to be good again he has to learn to become a totally different receiver which seems unlikely.

  3. It’s because he’s playing with a joke of a QB. He’s got game like Boldin, he’s still be big-boying DBs for another 5 years.

  4. Well… at least they’ve been killing it in the draft for 6 straight years…

  5. I thought some of the decline had to do with not completely recovering from injuries, but maybe not. It seems like these big, physical receivers hit the wall pretty early in their career.

  6. Or maybe it’s because he has that signed contract, so he isn’t putting 110% effort into every play. He collects his paycheck with minimal effort, just like most younger Americans I see these days.

  7. All of these Cowboy haters just love to read negativity about the Cowboys. And they all know if Dez was released today, their own favorite teams would be lining up to pay him nearly $18 million per season to play wide receiver for their team. Cut out the hypocrisy, please!

  8. From 2012-2014, Dez was burning it up on the field with double-digit TDs during that 3-year period— but then he slipped.
    Big-time WRs need big-time QBs and, no offense to Dak Prescott, but Tony Romo delivered the ball well to Bryant during that 3-year stint.

    Just one more 3-year stint of double-digit TDs woulda-coulda-shoulda been enuff for Dez to buy that bus ticket to Canton. Dag, boy!

  9. I’m not a cowboy fan but I actually liked Dez when he was OK St. the guy was a beast his 1st few years. Jerry really needs to man up and cut the guy NOW….or trade him for a 5th

  10. 7timechamp says:

    He has always been a horrible route runner resulting in lack separation from the defender. He could however get above the defender. He is having a tougher time doing that now.

    He’s always run poor routes, but he used to be physical enough to get separation. I mean he’s a big man. But he can’t do that anymore.

  11. I think you all should read PFF and just see where Dez ranks in getting separation!!! You might be surprised! Dez misses Tony, as Dak and he have zero chemistry! I hope we keep him!!! With that said, I do hope he takes a pay cut to help the team. But, after I saw what average w/r’s contracts were this offseason, Dez may not be quite as overpaid….

  12. I really think they should throw out any stats from 2015 when we had Weeden and Cassell at QB. That season was horrendous and I don’t ever even want to think about it again. Having said that, yes Dez is on the decline. I don’t think he will ever be as good as he thinks he is but I don’t think it’s time to jump ship on him. Yes, Tony was his QB and they had great chemistry and Tony could rely on him. He needs to spend more time with Dak working on that chemistry. Last year all of our receivers were pitiful, don’t know if that’s because of the problems on the OLine or Zeke missing 6 games or Dak, but it wasn’t pretty. I think Stephen is ready to move on but Jerry isn’t. I say they “restructure” his contract and give him a prove it type of year.

  13. Jerra will show everyone that he is still in charge by cutting his pay down to $11.5m per year… fully guaranteed of course…

  14. Not here to bash the guy–but he cost us the Seattle game, almost singlehandedly. People want to rip Dak, but those people know zip about football. Go back and watch his play throughout games last year. His throws were on target–with tiny windows–he made plays with his feet over and over and over–and even when he got blasted by the D, he still came back and was fighting to the end. The guy is a true blue winner. Period. I really like Dez, but he will go down in history spoken about “what could have been” instead of what he did, sadly.

  15. Lets hold off on the demise of Dez Bryant for a little bit…..or at least til the end of the upcoming season. Lets keep a few things in mind when talking about Dez’s production. His last 1000+ yards season was 2014, which happened to be Romo’s last full season. In 2015 he got hurt halfway through game 1, Romo gets hurt and is gone for pretty much the entire rest of the year in game two. Dez missed 7 full games. 2016, Romo is benched for Dak, and he only plays in 12 games due to injury/rested in game 16…he was on pace for 1000+ yards. 2017 was a complete mess, Dak wasnt sharp, the team was inconsistent and missing Zeke for 6 games affected the entire offense.

    I’m not saying Dez is a top 10 WR…..but….he isnt ready for the trash heap either. While he might not be what he once was (and who is?)….he is still a good player and the coaching staff need to figure out what routes he can be productive running.

  16. Bryant has lost a step over the last couple of years, but this is just Breer carrying water for the Cowboy’s. They’re sending a message to Dez and his agents in advance of their meeting about cutting his pay. Breer is always willing to do this.

  17. I don’t get it if he has been slipping ever year why are you holding onto him? Get what you can and move on, he’s not the first player that a team has had to move on from and won’t be the last.

  18. Well, they’re not wrong. He is slipping in production and can’t get separation anymore to save his life. That’s why the Cowboys brought in two WR’s in free agency, and why they’re pegged at taking Calvin Ridley as the first WR off the board in Round 1 of the draft this year. With such an expensive price tag, Dez is on his way out.

  19. “Perhaps Romo was a little under-appreciated as a QB?? Except by T.O. of course.”

    Was there ever a QB that T.O. liked? He always ended up dissing them for one reason or another. Didn’t he, at the end of his Dallas tenure, claim that Romo was conspiring with his other receivers to get them the ball rather than throw to T.O.?

  20. Why would someone on the coaching staff say that? Why air that in public? Breer seems to have a direct quote. Really dumb thing to say. Just work directly with Dez.

  21. tinye67 says:
    April 6, 2018 at 10:13 am
    Classic example of a player who stopped doing what it takes to be great once he got paid.


    I think it’s more that he’s spent so much time recovering from injuries that he hasn’t been able to work out at the level required to be elite.

  22. russrpm says:
    April 6, 2018 at 9:57 am
    Bryant has lost a step over the last couple of years, but this is just Breer carrying water for the Cowboy’s. They’re sending a message to Dez and his agents in advance of their meeting about cutting his pay. Breer is always willing to do this.


    This rings true… but I think it’s stupid. Why not just talk directly to Dez and his agent about your intentions. I don’t get why airing it in public is a good strategy.

  23. He hasn’t been the same since getting injured back in that season Romo also got injured. The Dez injury kinda flew under the radar, but it seems he may have lost some ability after that.

  24. .
    dez is a whiner.
    but… when u replace a QB with one who cant throw and make your offense run heavy all the normal WR’s suffer.

  25. He got skinny. He used to be big and cut. Did he quit taking something?

  26. Fact is in order to keep Martin they have to make him the highest paid Guard in the league.
    At that point 4 OL will account for about 40% of Dallas salary cap.
    Which means goodbye Dez

  27. It’s time to move on. Bryant never was the receiver he was made out to be. Definitely not a Pearson and certainly not an Irvin.

  28. If him staying means my dopey Cowboys fans in my ff league keep drafting him in the second rd, then great.

  29. they wasted the number 88 on this dude? michael irving kept his game at a high level no matter how much partying he was doing, or drugs or women….kids are soft these days lol

  30. My criticism of Dez has to do with his failure to
    evolve or be smart. His patterns are predictable.
    When he runs a quick in route he lets the
    DB in ….in other words he has no idea how
    to box out. When he runs a route down the field
    his favorite move is to push off the DB.
    He wants to be able to push off ( because he
    cannot create space) but gets mad and complains
    when the refs let the physical play rightly be both ways.
    He then goes to the sideline and pouts then
    gets up and starts screaming.

  31. Yes, he is. Dude is slippin physically, never had it mentally, and is a sideline sideshow. What’s not to like?

  32. Dak is the problem and you will see it this year, as long as Dak is the quarterback the Cowboys will go nowhere if I was Dez I’d get out of Dallas and come back and torch they as like Randy Moss did, end of story.

  33. He’s mentally a basket case – so now he is in complete sync. This guy needs to become unemployed and quickly. Maybe the Cowpies could trade him to the Redskins since they’ll take anyone this offseason. I can just see Smith throwing a three yard completion to Dez – Smith is the ultimate dump off passer.

  34. It’s a shame but it is on Dez…Say what you want to about
    Jerry Jones. People may criticize him for his ways but one
    aspect is certain ..he did all he could for Dez. Jerry is
    an owners that gives his players an opportunity to succeed.
    Dez did have a brutal upbringing one that many of us cannot
    even contemplate, the Cowboys organization did its best
    to allow Dez to succeed.
    It’s a shame but Dez has only himself to blame. He has not
    progressed ..he still runs sloppy routes,..he has not
    learned how to keep DB’s boxed out. In short he never bought
    in. In addition his work ethic has been average, As reported his
    natural skills have eroded. He is simply not worth his contract
    and most of all he is not deserving of respect that he seems to
    believe is his right.

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