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Blame Dez Bryant for His Release, Not Dak Prescott

Dez Bryant failed to deal with the reality that a litany of folks within the organization had grown weary of his petulance

The hate, maybe you prefer to call it shade, directed at Dak Prescott because the Cowboys cut Dez Bryant is real.

It's also dumb.

It's not Prescott's fault Bryant is unemployed today. If you must assign blame, you should start with No. 88.

After all, it's Bryant who spent the past few months living in a fantasy world thinking owner Jerry Jones would save his butt instead of dealing with the reality that a litany of folks within the organization had grown weary of his petulance.

Prescott said he found out Friday afternoon — like everyone else — that Bryant had been released.

"I'm in my second year so as much as you want to say, I want a say and this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me and that's what those guys are there to do," Prescott said Saturday in his first public comments. "That's not my decision."

"It's tough to see him gone...Dez is gonna be a hard guy to replace. He'll be missed," Prescott said.

Prescott doesn't wield the kind of power within the Cowboys' organization to say who stays and who goes.

When Bryant suggests "Garrett's Guys" are the reason he no longer plays for the Cowboys, and he whines about guys wearing "C" on their jersey playing a role in his release, it's one more example of how he refuses to accept any accountability for his sub-par performance.

"I'm sure he's hearing stuff and I'm sure he's getting it from a lot of different ways. I'm not gonna finger point at anybody," Prescott said "It's a business and that's part of it."

In the end, Jerry was Bryant's only ride or die guy. That's not surprising, even though Bryant caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and a franchise-record 73 touchdowns.

It was clear to everyone but Bryant's fans and his PR flunkies that the Cowboys were ready to move on once they offered free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins nearly $16 million a year.

Frankly, the vitriol directed at Prescott the past 48 hours isn't all that different than the hate Tony Romo's legion of lovers and apologists hurled his way after coach Jason Garrett chose the youngster over Romo in 2016.

It was illogical and emotion driven, in part, because this franchise has had so little team success over the past 20 years its fan-base has an obsessive attachment to its individual stars.

And that's why Bryant and his fans and followers on Twitter and Instagram  have decided Prescott is the villain in this imaginary screenplay Bryant has concocted about his eight years in Dallas.

In this movie, written, directed and produced by Bryant, he does a fantastic job of playing the victim. He acts like he no idea why the Cowboys released him.


We're talking about a high-maintenance player who ended the season ranked among the top 10 in salary for the third consecutive season despite not having a 1,000-yard season since 2014.

He hasn't had a 100-yard receiving performance in 22 games and, according to Stats Inc., led the NFL with 12 drops in 2017.

In the season's final week, Bryant made it clear he wasn't interested in taking a pay cut.

A couple of months ago, he went on the team's flagship station and talked about how he didn't like to go to training room for treatment, how he shouldn't have played through injuries the past couple of seasons and why he'd counsel young players not to do it.

In the same interview, Bryant talked about how he let things affect him during the season and he wasn't as focused.

If you replace Bryant's name with Player X, do you want that guy on your team? Nope.

It's telling that so many of y'all think Prescott had a hand in the Cowboys moving on from Bryant.

You blame him for Bryant's lack of productivity the last three years because he doesn't throw Bryant open like Romo did. You say he throws too many errant passes.

That's true, but it doesn't address Bryant's inconsistent route-running or a scheme that doesn't help Bryant get open with bunch concepts or pick plays.

And just so you know, everybody can't operate out of the slot because they lack the speed, quickness and route-running to excel.

Prescott and Bryant don't fit well, but there's not a franchise in the NFL that would choose a soon-to-be-30-year-old receiver over a 24-year-old hailed as the organization's next franchise quarterback.

Prescott doesn't have to be the passer Romo was for this offense to work. He's good enough.

In his first 24 games, he averaged 228 yards passing with 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In the last eight games of last season, he passed for 188 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He didn't have suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott for six of those games, and left tackle Tyron Smith missed two games and most of a third.

Bryant's supporters focus on the last eight games as though the first 24 never existed.

Prescott was never supposed to be the epicenter of the Cowboys' offense. He was supposed to be a facilitator, a good decision-maker with unique leadership skills that would help his team win at the highest level.

There's pressure on Prescott to perform, especially without Bryant, but the Cowboys' quarterback has never had an easy road to athletic success.

Shutting up the latest round of critics isn't a daunting task.

And it will be easier than you think — even without Bryant around.

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