The Dallas Cowboys attempted to make a blockbuster move early in free agency to no avail by pursuing ex-Bills receiver Sammy Watkins who ended up joining the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys instead added a speedster combination of ex-Bills/Bears receiver Deonte Thompson (one year 2.5mil max contract) and ex-Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns on a two-year deal. Are these moves signifying the end of the Dez Bryant Era in Dallas?
The Cowboys are yet to release any statements on the future of Bryant’s contract, however, the organisation has said that his contract shall need to be assessed this off-season in some way. Dez is set to make $12.5 million in 2018 as well as taking up $16.5 million in Cowboy cap space. If the Cowboys decided to shop or cut Dez they could save either $8.5 million or $12.5 million depending on the designation. The Cowboys also have almost nothing left in Cap space currently with only $360,722 left in 2018 cap space according to overthecap.com. Who do the Cowboys stand to lose if they decide to re-sign Bryant this off-season?
The Cowboys receiver core is not filled with blockbuster names but still boasts a group of young-guns ready for their shot. Dallas extended Terrance Williams to a four-year contract last year and also still have Cole Beasley, Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown under contract — all wide receivers who were on the active roster and caught passes last year.
However, not one of these players has had the same blockbuster stats as Dez Bryant so far in their careers.
Deonte Thompson in his 2017 season totalled 555 yards, with 2 touchdowns in his 16 game stretch with the Bills/Bears. However, it must be noted that he did not have the best field generals throwing to him.
Allen Hurns in his 2017 season posted similar numbers, totalling 484 yards, with 2 touchdowns. His only 1000+ yards season came in 2015, a number that Dez has broken multiple times throughout his career. Once again, however, the Jaguars has a number of hot targets last season and Hurns was definitely a big part of the ‘clutch’ plays throughout the whole season. I think Hurns will fit in perfectly on a team that relies heavily on the power of Elliot in the backfield.
Dez Bryant, although posting a quieter season than his norm still totalled, 838 yards, with 6 touchdowns obviously helping his team in huge ways. I wonder if the addition of a run-focused offence is a bigger factor in the decline in Bryant’s numbers rather than a physical decline.
Where’s next for Dez?
I honestly believe that Bryant is still a top receiver in the league, and with the right system and player around him could still post a 1000+ yard season but his ability to find a new team will be dependant on how much he is looking for as a base salary.
I think the Jags would be a great fit for Bryant. They are hosting a predominantly young team currently, and adding a more experienced weapon for Bortles to look for is never a bad thing. With the release of Allen Robinson and Hurns, there is also a need for an experienced receiver to pick up some of the slack
Because honestly, who have they not signed this off-season? The Browns have a ridiculous amount of money and trade ammo currently and if he was willing to take a Wr3 salary the addition of Dez would supercharge the Browns already stacked receiving core.
What do you think? Is this the end of Dez in Dallas? Where do you think he should go next?