Stephen Jones continues to hint Dez Bryant could be on the outs in Dallas

By Jesse Reed

Last month, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones surprised many when he admitted Dez Bryant’s sideline antics have been a distraction for his team.

During that same interview, he hinted that the Cowboys had a tough decision ahead of them regarding Bryant’s exorbitant salary in 2018. He’s due to cost $16.5 million against the cap in 2018.

One month has passed, and it’s clear that the Cowboys are very much debating whether Bryant will be on their roster. Jones attended the presentation of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award on Thursday when he opened up a bit more about Bryant’s future.

“No one wants to compete and get after it more than Dez,” Jones said, per the team website. “At the same time, we all know this is a business where everybody has to be accountable. Certainly everybody knows that. That’s a tough one. Certainly we’re going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business.

“Dez understands this is a business,” Jones said. “No one thinks more of Dez Bryant than starting at the top, Jerry, and certainly me, his teammates, Coach Garrett, Will McClay. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Dez. That’s one of the things that we’re going to have to work through as we move into our future.”

That sure sounds like there’s something to the notion that Dallas could be ready to move on.

Making things more complicated here is the simple fact that Bryant hasn’t produced like a top receiver for a few years.

Bryant was one of the most dangerous receivers in all of football between 2011-2014. He caught 336 passes for 4,863 yards and 50 touchdowns in that four-year span. Since then, however, he’s managed to average just 50 catches for 678 yards and less than six touchdowns per year.

Certainly, he’s not worth $16.5 million.

The latest reports suggest Dallas would rather do an extension with Bryant (which would certainly involve a pay cut) than release him. Trading him seems out of the question given his salary, so it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.