NFL NEWS

Cowboys sever ties, release Bryant

The Sports Xchange

April 13, 2018 at 1:48 pm.

Nov 30, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after a reception in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 30, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs after a reception in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dez Bryant’s tenure with the Dallas Cowboys is over.

The Cowboys announced Friday that they officially released Bryant, severing ties with one of the productive wide receivers in franchise history.

The move came after Bryant was scheduled to meet with team owner Jerry Jones on Friday amid reports that Dallas wanted the three-time Pro Bowl selection to take a pay cut after three straight seasons in which he failed to eclipse 838 receiving yards.

Bryant, who was scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018 and count $16.5 million against salary cap, let it be known via social media that the Cowboys were responsible for ending his eight-year relationship with the club.

“Cowboy nation I need you to know this wasn’t my decision.. I will always love y’all… forever Dallas in my heart,” Bryant wrote on his Twitter account.

Jones said releasing the 29-year-old Bryant, a first-round draft pick (No. 24 overall) in 2010 out of Oklahoma State, was a difficult decision, citing his close relationship with the mercurial wideout.

“As an organization we hold Dez Bryant in the highest regard, and we are grateful for his passion, spirit and contributions to this team for the past eight years,” Jones said in the statement. “He will always be a valued member of our family. Dez and I share a personal and professional relationship that is very strong, and he is one of just a handful of players with whom I have become that close to over the past 30 years.

“This was not an easy decision. It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We arrived at this crossroad collectively with input from several voices within the organization. Ultimately we determined it was time to go in a new direction.”

The NFL Network reported that a pay cut was never broached during the meeting between Bryant and Jones. According to a writer on DallasCowboys.com, Bryant uttered a parting shot to the team as he departed: “I’ll see (you) guys twice this year.”

Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 2017. He has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.

Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has failed to record a 1,000-yard season or reel in more than eight touchdown receptions in a season.

Bryant was a touchdown machine in the first half of his career with the Cowboys, hauling in 41 scoring passes in a three-season span, capped by a career-high 16 in 2014. He was named a First-Team All-Pro selection that year.

During that spectacular run from 2012-2014, Bryant also averaged 91 receptions and put up at least 1,233 receiving yards in each of the three seasons.

For his career, Bryant appeared in 113 games (99 starts) and amassed 7,459 total yards while registering a franchise-record 73 receiving touchdowns.

Dallas brought in a pair of wide receivers via free agency in the offseason, signing Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson.