It's Time for Jerry to Cut Ties With Dez

Since he’s owned the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones has cut Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen, Terrell Owens and DeMarcus Ware.

Smith, Allen and Owens are each in the Hall of Fame and Ware will soon join them.

Do you really believe he won’t cut Dez Bryant?

Jerry might not cut Bryant when they meet Friday because Jerry is the sentimental sort, but he should.

It’s time.

Every professional relationship eventually runs its course and the one between Bryant and the Cowboys is no different.

One of three things will happen when Bryant meets with Jerry: 1) he’ll be asked to take a significant pay cut from the $12.5 million he’s scheduled to earn 2) he’ll have an opportunity to see if he can get a better deal than the one Dallas offers 3) the Cowboys will release him.

It made sense for Bryant to meet with the Cowboys this week because the off-season program begins on Monday, and it wouldn’t be fair to make Bryant deal with all the questions that would occur from his ambiguous status.

Plus, if he participated in the off-season program and suffered some sort of injury, the Cowboys would be liable for his $12.5 million salary.

Bryant has been terrific with the Cowboys - he’s their all-time leader with 73 career touchdowns - but when he meets with the owner, Jerry needs to thank him for the 531 receptions, 7,459 yards and countless unforgettable moments.

It won’t be easy cutting Bryant. It’s supposed to be hurt.

Perhaps, both men will shed some tears.

Just a few years ago, Bryant was among the best in the game. It’s why he earned a five-year, $70-million contract.

But it has been three years since he had a 1,000-yard season and 22 games since he had 100 yards.

Age and injuries have stolen some of his athleticism and now he’s trying to evolve from a player who relied on strength and power to a player who runs good routes.

Not many receivers this deep into their career can successfully make that type of dramatic change.

Sure, Bryant can still make great plays and have great games, but can he put together great seasons?

And can he have them with Dak Prescott at quarterback? Few folks in the Cowboys’ organization believe he can.

Tony Romo was a spectacular passer, the kind of player who could make any throw - and would.

Prescott, a good passer, can’t and won’t. He’s protective of the ball.

So Bryant is never ever going to put up the kind of numbers or make the kind of plays for Prescott that he would for Romo.

It’s silly to think he would. Just like it’s silly to think any team is going to ride or die with a soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver over a 24-year-old quarterback who won 13 games as a rookie and threw for more than 300 yards in his only playoff game.

Understand, Stephen Jones was the first person his off-season to label Bryant’s sideline antics a distraction.

He was the first to talk about adjusting Bryant’s contract and the first to suggest Prescott preferred receivers who ran consistently good routes, something Bryant doesn’t do.

He’s leading the charge to move on from Bryant and coach Jason Garrett is close behind.

The Cowboys went hard after free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins, and they were willing to pay him close to $16 million per year.

The moment they did that, it meant they had moved on emotionally from Bryant.

The Cowboys have met with the best receivers in the draft and put them through personal workouts. They signed two free-agent receivers and Stephen Jones said they’d like to add another in the first three rounds of the draft.

Jerry has moved on from some of the greatest players in franchise history. Now, the sentimental owner should move on from Bryant.

He’s done it before and survived.

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