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Stephen Jones compares Dez Bryant decision to departures of Aikman, Irvin and Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have a huge decision to make soon about what role, if any, Dez Bryant will have for the 2018 season and beyond. Recently, executive vice president Stephen Jones hinted that Bryant could be on the outs.

On Monday in Indianapolis for the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, Jones once again made a comment that shows the Cowboys are definitely serious about potentially saying goodbye to Bryant. He compared the Dez Bryant decision to the emotional departures of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith — Dallas’ Big 3 from the glory days in the 1990s.

If that doesn’t foreshadow the end for Bryant in Dallas, then nothing will.

Due to earn a base salary of $12.5 million and count $16.5 million against the cap in 2018, Bryant’s production clearly doesn’t match his contract at this time. Since 2014, he’s averaged just 50 catches for 678 yards and less than six touchdowns per year, which is a far cry from his gaudy production from 2012-14.

Jones said that the Cowboys don’t currently have a meeting lined up with Bryant’s representatives, but that such a meeting will be happening soon.

It’s been reported recently that the Cowboys would rather extend Bryant than cut him, and we assume such a deal would also be team-friendly. But we have no way of knowing how Bryant feels about taking a pay cut.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens next. In addition to the significant drop in production from Bryant in recent years, he’s dealt with injuries and has become a distraction for the Cowboys at times due to his emotional outbursts on the sidelines.

Should Dallas opt to move on, then Bryant will likely have some attractive options available to him in free agency. But at this point nobody should expect him to land another big contract, based on his recent history.