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Mailbag: TE Depth On The Roster? Weighing In On Dez Bryant’s Status

GINO TOMASELLI
WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA

There is a strong contingent of Cowboys supporters who have entertained the idea of cutting Dez Bryant due to his poor performance in relation to his large contract. Perhaps I am in the minority, but I feel that with the $8 million dead cap hit that Dallas would incur, this is not the best decision. They will not be able to use the $8 million savings to secure a suitable replacement in free agency. I am also doubtful that a rookie WR will have the immediate impact that some would expect since just last year 3 WR were taken in the top 10 and none of them had a meaningful impact for their teams. What are your thoughts on the Dez Bryant situation?

Nick: I understand the concern but you have to remember it’s more than just a one-year move. You’re talking about $8 million in dead cap and $8 million in savings. That’s all one year. That situation gets better the next season and so on. At this stage, we’re hearing a lot of talk from the Cowboys, especially Stephen Jones. I have to think some of the negotiating is occurring through the media. The Cowboys keep saying there is a decision to make so that makes me think they’re thinking about pay cut and if it doesn’t happen, then the Cowboys will move on to the next step. Something has to give here. But the Cowboys simply can’t have a receiver counting $16 million in cap space that defenses are willing to give them opportunities to beat them. The top players in the league are game-planned to stop. And it looked like in 2017 that defenses were looking to stop the other guys and took their chances with Dez. I would go for the pay-cut route with incentives that could help boost his deal back to what he’s expecting.

Bryan: I have always believed in letting this deal play out and see where it takes you. The more I listen to Stephen Jones, the more I believe that the front office has a plan to do other things. I don’t know how the money will work out, but I wouldn’t want Bryant going into an important season for a lot of folks with an upset attitude. Think that does more bad than good.

TONY FRITZ
MACON, GA

Why is TE again another position in this year’s draft? One of the biggest issues I've seen is not allowing players to develop. I know the team is following Bill Parcells’ three-year rule as it pertains to improvement. But I've seen a lot of players like Minnesota’s Andrew Sandejo who are thriving with other teams. We have drafted quite a few and either we are wasting picks or not giving them opportunity to make the team.

Nick: I really don’t understand the question. Are you saying players aren’t given a chance to develop like tight end? That’s a spot they’ve drafted and I think we know why those players aren’t doing more. Let’s not forget Jason Witten keeps making the Pro Bowl. So, that’s one reason. And for every Sendejo or Amendola that got away, there’s a David Irving or Rod Smith that you get from another team. It’s the nature of the business. The Cowboys have drafted well and tend to take care of those picks. Sometimes, other guys fall through the cracks.  

Bryan: It was actually Tom Landry that had the three-year plan which Parcells borrowed. I think you’re jumping too early on adding a tight end. I’ve heard nothing but positive things on Witten, James Hanna and Geoff Swaim with the potential development of Rico Gathers and Blake Jarwin. It is true that this upcoming draft class of tight ends is deep, so adding one might not be a bad option, but I don’t believe it’s a priority. 

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