The Cowboys open training camp Wednesday along with 21 other NFL teams, while Dez Bryant remains unemployed.
That’s shocking no matter how you look at it, considering he was released 104 days ago.
Understand, there’s no guarantee Bryant gets a job.
The latest news from around North Texas.
It doesn’t mean he’s not good enough to play in the NFL; it means he can’t find the right situation with the right money.
Those are the exact same reasons former Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray announced his retirement four years after the Cowboys let him leave via free agency.
Murray gained nearly 1,300 yards, while scoring nine touchdowns for Tennessee in 2016.
But the Titans drafted Derrick Henry in the second round of the 2016 draft and it’s his time to be the lead runner.
Bad teams didn’t want Murray, nor he them. A host of other good and mediocre teams already had good situations at running back.
And the handful of teams that were interested didn’t offer enough cash to make it worth his while.
Murray made $22 million over the past three years, it’s hard for a dude who’s done that and been a starter to subjugate his ego and take a job as a backup making a couple of million.
That’s great money for me and you, but pocket change to a former NFL star.
Bryant, it seems, finds himself in the exact same situation.
He overplayed his hand and turned down a thee-year deal from Baltimore that would’ve paid him $7 million this year and reportedly $21 million overall.
If he gets a deal this year that pays him half of that this season it’ll be a win.
Maybe, Bryant will eventually wind up in New Orleans where a strong head coach like Sean Payton and quarterback like Drew Brees could help him maximize his talent. Or San Francisco where head coach Kyle Shanahan could use his array of schemes to help him get open.
Reality says he can’t be choosy these days.
Bryant used to be a star, but that’s no longer the case.
He’s an aging 29-year-old veteran who relied on power, strength, athleticism and Tony Romo to thrive.
He hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season in three years or a 100-yard game in 22 games. He still has moments of greatness, but that’s about it.
He’s not a good route-runner and he struggles against press coverage.
Amazon Prime’s eight-part series “All or Nothing” portrayed Bryant as petulant with bouts of boorish behavior.
Good teams aren’t really interested in dealing with that if they don’t have too. Besides, they must answer the question: If the Cowboys let him go without even offering him a contract do we really want to deal with him?
Bryant must also accept a lesser role for the first time in his athletic career. He’s been a beast at Lufkin High School, Oklahoma State and the Cowboys.
Now, he must find a team, accept a role and earn about 80 percent less than the $12.5 million he was supposed to earn with Dallas.
That’s hard on anybody’s ego.
Teams will spend the first part of training camp studying the youngsters they drafted or the free agents they signed during the rigors of training camp.
There’s no need to add a player like Bryant right now. If they had wanted him, then he’d be signed already.
Perhaps, teams will come calling when some No.1 or No.2 receiver suffers an injury.
Bryant’s offseason has been driven by a desire to exact vengeance upon the team that released him and didn’t even give him a chance to accept a pay cut.
He wanted to play in the NFC East and punish the Cowboys. He wanted a one-year deal, so he could make big money as a free agent in 2019.
Now, he would be wise to sign with any team that offers him a deal. Or he might just find himself at home all season.