The reasons for Dez Bryant's high profile release from the Dallas Cowboys last month have been widely speculated on, but now we're hearing them directly from the team.
Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay essentially confirmed the consensus opinion that Bryant's declining play and failure to live up to his large contract were the main factors that led to the end of his time in Dallas.
“It was a collective deal,” McClay said of Bryant's release per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The (inability) to win one-on-one, to win down field. There was inconsistency as well as some huge things in his play. So what’s best moving forward for Dez Bryant the Cowboys, we just made that decision. It’s a production-based business.".
McClay basically affirmed that the former All Pro receiver's production no longer justified the $16.5 million cap hit that he was due in 2018.
Bryant hasn't hit the 1000 receiving yards mark in a single season since 2014, and it's been blatantly obvious to the eye that he no longer has the physical tools to produce at an All Pro level anymore.
Separating from defensive backs has been a real issue for the former first round pick, and his limited route running ability has seen him becoming decreasingly relevant in Scott Linehan's offense over the past few seasons.
The 29-year-old hasn't recorded a 100-yard receiving game since week 10 of the 2016 season, despite featuring in every game in last year.
At the end of the day, for a variety of on and off field reasons, Bryant's presence on the roster was no longer conducive to the Cowboys goal of winning a championship.
“You have to make a decision to make sure you succeed and hold that trophy up,” McClay said.
The three-time Pro Bowler Bryant remains unsigned as he seeks a new home in the NFL. He's already rejected a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens, and is seeking a one-year deal in a spot that will give him the best chance to put up big numbers with the view of earning himself a long-term contract in 2019.
As for Dallas, they've added no fewer than four new wideouts ahead of the 2018 season, including third-round draft pick Michael Gallup and former Rams speedster Tavon Austin in a trade that saw Ryan Switzer go the other way.
Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson round out the new additions, which give Dak Prescott a younger, more explosive set of weapons in the passing game.