Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys are scheduled to finally meet today to hash out the receiver’s future with the team. What will happen? Here’s the truth…
Dez Bryant’s future with the Dallas Cowboys fell under question before the 2017 season even concluded. The former Pro Bowler has been in a statistical decline for three straight seasons and at a scheduled cost of $16 million against the cap in 2018, something has to give.
Speculation has ruled the offseason: Will Dez be playing in Dallas next season? How will Dez react to the sudden avalanche of scrutiny? Will the Cowboys cut him? Is Dez Bryant going to take a pay cut? Is he tradeable?
Well after scouring through qualified expert opinions, analyzing the team’s roster moves, and tapping insider information, we have confidently come to a conclusion regarding Dez’s future – Nobody knows.
Sure, there are qualified guesses aplenty, but when it comes down to it, they are all built on speculation.
I’ve read everything there is to read on the subject and I’ve listened to the experts. I’ve seen the anonymous trash talk coming out of The Star. Just the other day I even ran through depth chart, counted the personnel, and illustrated how they all can’t fit on the final 53-man roster. But at the end of the day. The results are inconclusive.
Even more to the point of these inconclusive results – there’s a good chance the Dallas Cowboys don’t even know what the future holds for the Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys marriage. Much is hinging on how this Dez Bryant/Jerry Jones Summit goes down.
Here are the three most likely outcomes of Friday’s meeting:
1. Dez Bryant gets cut
This option has been the most obvious. The Cowboys stand to save $8 million by cutting Bryant (more if they designate him as a June cut) and have already taken the steps to replace him. Yes, they publicly said Allen Hurns was signed to complement Dez – not to replace. And I believe they believe this. But I also believe they think Hurns gives them an excellent contingency plan in case Dez leaves.
The Cowboys have been executing a plan this offseason. It started with whispers of discontent, moved to possible replacement, and ends with strong leverage in a tough talk scheduled today. If they don’t like what they hear from Dez, they will draft a receiver high in the draft to replace him.
If it seems lke a deal can be made with Dez, they’ll likely pass on receiver high in the draft and aim for one of those Day 3 projects.
2. Dez Bryant takes a pay cut
There’s no question the Cowboys plan to ask Dez for a pay cut. What’s under question is how much and will Dez accept it. If the request is reasonable then Dez will likely compromise and accept. Such a move would keep him alive in 2018, but barring a bounce-back Pro Bowl season, it would likely end in his release in 2019.
3. Dez Bryant signs an extension
I discussed this yesterday – for as hard as it is to believe, a contract extension is a possible outcome. Such a move would reduce his annual salary (basically a pay cut) but allow him to save face. This would likely keep him around for two more seasons.
What will it be?
Like I said, there’s a chance the Cowboys don’t even know at this point. Much will depend on how Dez reacts to the meeting today. It’s telling that they waited until now when the pressure is highest, yet still doing it before the draft so they have the resources to adapt.
Dallas has scouted a ton of Day 1 and Day 2 receivers for a reason. If the meeting goes poorly, the Cowboys are in perfect position to move on without him. Allen Hurns and 10 draft picks will be more than enough to to fill the void should Dez not accept their demands.