As former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant continues to search for a new team, his former team is closing the book on their relationship with the veteran wideout.
Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay was very candid when speaking with ESPN 103.3 FM about the decision to part ways with Bryant earlier this offseason, ahead of the NFL Draft.
“It was a collective deal,” McClay explained, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“The (inability) to win one-on-one, to win downfield. There was inconsistency as well as some huge things in his play. So what’s best moving forward for Dez Bryant [and] the Cowboys, we just made that decision. It’s a production-based business.”
Bryant was reportedly supposed to spend this offseason working with a route-running guru to help improve his game, but his $12.5M base salary proved to be too rich of an investment.
The scathing assessment won’t serve Bryant well on the free agent market.
Cowboys Hoping Tavon Austin Can Become a Complete Receiver
The Dallas Cowboys are hopeful that a change of scenery will be the key to helping Tavon Austin become a complete receiver, instead of the plug-and-play type he was during his five seasons in with the Los Angeles Rams.
Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott is certainly hopeful that Austin can put it all together, as he could give the signal caller a dangerous weapon to utilize moving forward, and Austin has already impressed Prescott so far, naming him as the receiver who has impressed him the most.
“I’d say Tavon for the simple fact, in the other place he was, I didn’t know he was as good of a receiver as he was and could run routes as well as he does, and catch the ball every single time,” Prescott said, according to the Dallas Star-Telegram. “For me, from that standpoint, he’s not just a gadget, gadget guy. You don’t have to run him on speed sweeps and all that steps opens up the offense and you can use him there as well. He’s a guy you can put out there, inside, outside and trust he’s going to get open.”
Austin speed has always been intriguing, but he has yet to put it all together in his career thus far.
Cowboys’ Jaylon Smith Looking Faster, Improved in Training Camp
Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Jaylon Smith is still trying to get back to 100% after a devastating knee injury in college that would raise a number of questions about if he could ever return to playing football again.
Smith has looked faster, improved, and has been one of the more consistent defensive performers during Cowboys’ training camp, and his coaches have taken notices.
“It’s fast,” Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I mean, you can see it. His movement and everything is good, but you can see he knows what he’s doing and that really quickens you up. He’s done a great job of studying and all those things, so that is helping him look faster, and he’s getting healthier and healthier every day.”
The regeneration of the peroneal nerve has allowed Smith to play without a brace that he had to play with all last season.
“He seems more natural, more instinctive, changing direction,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. “You have to be spontaneous when you play. You set things up and you have different responsibilities, but ultimately once the play starts, you don’t really know what’s going to happen, and the best players are able to seamlessly go from one direction to another direction and do what they need to do to make a play. We saw a lot of that in college and I think we’re seeing more and more of that now, once he’s taken that brace off.”
Marinelli has gleamed about Smith’s natural ability to get to the quarterback.
“I love it,” Smith stated. “It’s what I do. I’m very good at having that gift and we’re getting a chance to use it this year.”
Cowboys’ Tavon Austin Wants To Bring a Super Bowl Title to Dallas
Austin listed bringing a Super Bowl championship to Dallas as one of his goals moving forward.
“I just want to win. I’ve been the No.1 receiver, I’ve been the No. 2 receiver, I’ve been when they don’t classify me as a receiver” Austin said, according to The Athletic’s Calvin Watkins.
“I just want to win and help a team do my part, make some plays and have some fun and bring a Super Bowl to these Cowboys.”
While Austin was shocked to be traded to the Cowboys, he is happy to be in Dallas and to work with wide receivers coach, Sanjay Lal.
“They put me in different positions, seeing what I can do” Austin said.
“Our receiver coach (Sanjay Lal) is probably one of the best that I ever played for, he makes me a better and better player every day. I can see it. I can’t ask for more than that.
He’s a players coach, man, just the way he breaks down certain angles for us, certain stunts how to get us in and out of our breaks faster than what we thought he was doing especially for me. He’s hard on me, always.”
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