Kevin Jairaj – USA Today Sports

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones announced the team’s release of wide receiver Dez Bryant Friday morning.

Instead of working with Bryant for a pay cut on his contract, ESPN reported Dallas did not offer a different contract to him.

“As an organization, we hold Dez Bryant in the highest regard, and we are grateful for his passion, spirit and contributions to this team for the past eight years. He will always be a valued member of our family. Dez and I share a personal and professional relationship that is very strong, and he is one of just a handful of players with whom I have become that close to over the past 30 years,” Jones said in a statement.

Throughout this off-season, Bryant’s hefty contract and future was a common discussion for the team. He was making $12.5 million a year and $16.5 million salary-cap figure.

Bryant, 29, signed a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015. Since then, he missed 2015 with a broken foot, was in and out of the 2016 season with a tibial plateau fracture and was also quiet in 2017 with an injury.

He spent eight seasons with the Cowboys and caught 513 passes for 7,459 yards. Bryant holds the Dallas program record with 73 touchdown catches, and ranks fifth in team history for total yardage.

The Cowboys tried to pick up Sammy Watkins this off-season, but instead signed Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson.

Now, the 2018 draft could see the Cowboys drafting the likes of Alabama’s Calvin Ridley or Maryland’s D.J. Moore as wideouts.

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