Will Cowboys cut Dez Bryant? Team VP says receiver can be a 'distraction' at times

One of the biggest issues the Dallas Cowboys are going to have to deal with this offseason is the future of Dez Bryant

With Bryant set to count $16.5 million against the Cowboys' salary cap in 2018, it wouldn't be crazy to see the team move on from him. Over the past three seasons, Bryant just hasn't lived up to the hype that came with the five-year, $70 million contract the Cowboys gave him in July 2015. 

Although there's no way to predict what the Cowboys will do with Bryant, executive vice president Stephen Jones didn't sound too attached to his star receiver during a recent interview on the "Hangin' With The Boys" podcast on the team's website

Besides Bryant being expensive and not producing, Jones also pointed out that the receiver hasn't really clicked with Dak Prescott. Although Bryant totaled 1,200 or more receiving yards in three of Tony Romo's final four seasons with the team, the receiver hasn't even hit the 900-yard mark in two years with Prescott. 

"Tony, certainly his game, they kind of tailored it to one another," Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. "When Dak came in, he certainly is not going to play the game exactly like Tony played the game. I think it hasn't ever just hit on all cylinders yet in term of how Dak-and-Dez the connection works. I think it's a work in progress. I think it could improve if given the opportunity."

During his chat about Bryant, Jones also mentioned that the team's star receiver can sometimes be a distraction. 

"It is certainly visible to anyone who watches our games, watches our sideline, is Dez is certainly a fiery guy who plays with a lot of emotion both on and off the field," Jones said. "Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez, it can be a distraction for other teammates. And we just have to really get our hands around when you put all the full body of work together where that's headed."

As the Cowboys build for the future, Jones seemed to hint that Bryant's high cost but low production is that something that team is going to have to take into account as they try and decided who to keep this offseason. 

"Of course we pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He's as aware of it as anybody," Jones said. "He knows when you get paid that kind of money there's high expectations in terms of the productivity. ... Those are all things we have to look at as a team, as an organization when we start to put our team together for next year."

Bryant still has two years left on the deal that he signed back in 2015. If the Cowboys decide to release him this offseason, they would save roughly $8.5 million in cap space, a total that could shoot up to $12.5 million if he's designated a post-June 1 cut. 

The Cowboys could also ask Bryant to take a pay cut, but it doesn't really sound like he would be open to that. Back in December, Bryant was asked if he'd be willing to take a drop in pay and his answer was pretty clear, "Hell naw." A third option would be a trade, but it's unlikely that any team would want to acquire him under the terms of his current contract. 

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about the Bryant situation on Tuesday and he gave a very general answer without mentioning his All-Pro receiver by name.   

"Everybody that's got years left on their contract, I'm expecting them to be on this team," the elder Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

As with all things Jerry Jones, interpret as you wish. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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