Dez Bryant has been released by the Dallas Cowboys. Yeah, you read that right. It actually happened on Friday. Once scoffed at, now a reality. The storied run for number 88, the meant to be heir to Michael Irving is no more.

The much-anticipated sit down between the 29-year old Dez and Jerry Jones finally happened and ended like many of us did not expect, with the two of them personally breaking the news that the two sides were parting ways.

Much of the decision came down to what Dez was set to make in 2018: $12.5 million, the base salary connected to the heavy cap hit of $16.5 million.

“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 mentioned in the statement released by the cowboys. “He will always be a valued member of our family.”

Jerry also reiterated that it was a very tough decision, and that it came down to what is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. At the end of the day, business is business. Jerry and Stephan Jones had seemed to be going back and fourth on the matter in a bit of father-and-son good cop/bad cop. They furthermore made abruptly clear once the offseason began that keeping Dez at his current cost would be “a tough one.”

So, this shouldn’t be as much of a surprise to Cowboy Nation as the reactions seem to make it out to be. As of right now for the majority, it’s been a tough pill to swallow.

On the field, the move seems to make all the sense in the world as Dez has progressively been declining for the last three seasons, unable to recapture his dominance we all witnessed in 2014. He has not surpassed 900 yards in a season since signing that monster deal in 2015 or reached 100 yards in 22 consecutive games. Numbers that you can’t have out of a consensus “number 1” receiver. The Cowboys saw what many of us have seen over the last few years: no real light at the end of the tunnel.

Dez lacks the speed and explosiveness that made him one of the most feared offensive weapons earlier in his career. He’s still a capable red zone weapon as the jump ball ability is still there but doesn’t seem like much more than that anymore. Regardless, as of right now he’ll enter free agency as the best receiver on the market and will more than likely find a new home rather easily. Maybe even in the NFC East.

The idea that this departure leaves the Cowboys receiving core in shambles is a pretty big overreaction. But the possibility of them targeting a wide-out in round one of the draft is even more in play now.

Watching Dez throw up the X without the star on his helmet will take some adjusting to say the least.

More to come…

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