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Report: Cowboys have released Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys have released wide receiver Dez Bryant, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

The Cowboys made the move after a short meeting between Bryant and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday.

ESPN’s Todd Archer reports that the Cowboys won’t designate him as a post-June 1 release, which means that they will save $8.5 million in cap space this season.

Bryant’s release has ended months of speculation about his future with the team. Cowboys VP Stephen Jones had hinted at a possible move earlier in the offseason when he said Bryant’s antics were a “distraction” to the team. However, Bryant’s decline in recent years, due in part to injuries, was likely the more significant factor in his release.

The 29-year-old’s recent production has hardly justified his status as one of the highest-paid receivers in the entire league. Bryant has failed to top 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last three years after previously racking up three straight years of 1,200 or more yards. He played all 16 games last season, recording 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns.

Bryant is now an unrestricted free agent and will likely not be short of options in terms of finding a new team. However, it’s unlikely that any team will offer him the type of salary he was getting paid in Dallas.

As for the Cowboys, they had already started to prepare for Bryant’s eventual release by signing free-agent wide receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson. They will now join veterans Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley in the Cowboys receiving corps. Dallas will also likely target other wide receivers in the draft to help make up for Bryant’s departure.