The Dallas Cowboys released former All Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. I think Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots should be at the gate of the Cowboys parking lot, ready to drive Bryant to New England.
The #Cowboys have released WR Dez Bryant, source said. It’s done.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2018
From 2012-14, few receivers were as productive as Bryant. He collected 273 receptions for 3,935 yards and 41 touchdowns over those three seasons and was named All Pro in 2014. Those 41 receiving touchdowns led the league over that span, while his receiving yards ranked fifth.
Injuries and questionable play over the past three years have greatly limited Bryant’s production. Bryant suffered a foot injury in 2015 that was similar to what Julian Edelman experienced that same year. The Cowboys also didn’t have Tony Romo at quarterback for much of the year due to a collar bone injury.
Bryant suffered a knee injury in 2016, the rookie season of new Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, but still posted a respectable 59 reception/928 yard/10 touchdown season total over 14 games (including one playoff game). That is a 67/1061/11 season over 16 games, not a bad year with a rookie quarterback in an offense that saw a 10% decline in pass attempts.
Bryant played all 16 games in 2017, but had a drop in production with a 69/838/6 season. His yards per catch were down, while his targets were similar to earlier in his career. Still, there was plenty of talk that Bryant and Prescott never got on the same page, with Prescott not giving Bryant the same opportunities to win 50/50 balls that Romo did.
But Bryant also declined as a route runner and definitely was not the same player in 2017.
Still, Bryant is 29 years old and there’s still a chance for a renaissance in his career. When at his best, Bryant is one of the top five receivers in the league and that’s still possible- and maybe a fresh start is what he needs, with the reigning MVP in Tom Brady and the best tight end in football- Rob Gronkowski- drawing away coverage, allowing Bryant to flourish.
Bryant is a big outside receiver that the Patriots have been looking for over the past few years and he would compete with the likes of Kenny Britt for time on the field. There’s no question that Bryant would be a nice addition to the offense and potentially huge upgrade.