Dez Bryant Is Winning His Breakup with the Cowboys

Jacob Feldman
Sports Illustrated

Dez Bryant is live-tweeting his own funeral. Since the Cowboys cut him Friday, he's re-tweeted DeMarcus Lawrence's message that Bryant will be "My dawg for life!", Byron Jones's recollection of going up against the 29-year-old wideout in practice—which "will always be my favorite memory"—as well as Alfred Morris's statement that Bryant had been "great in the locker room," and so on.

Meanwhile, the remaining faces of the franchise have been left to defend themselves against allegations that they pushed out Dallas' all-time receiving TDs leader. "That's not my decision," Dak Prescott said. When asked on Twitter about the situation, receiver Cole Beasley responded, "I’ll say somethin I shouldn’t have and be next."

Of course, moving on from Bryant may end up being the right move for the Cowboys. It's quite possible his personality would have been too much for a young offense. It's even more clear that the man who has not logged 1,000 yards or 10 touchdowns since 2014 is not worth the salary he would have been due. For now though, after making the move during one of the quietest weekends on the entire NFL calendar, the Cowboys have to justify their decision while Bryant is off being recruited by players around the league.

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Deandre Hopkins went so far as to photoshop Bryant into a Texans uniform. As I see it, No. 88 in Houston with Hopkins and Deshaun Watson is the most interesting potential outcome. Bryant has professed his desire to stick it to the Cowboys by staying in the NFC East, but it's hard to see the Eagles risking their Super Bowl chemistry or the Giants adding another demanding wideout next to Odell Beckham Jr. Washington has been known to make a free-agent splash, but it's already added a receiver this offseason, and The Washington Post has called a Bryant signing "highly unlikely." Staying in Texas would allow Bryant to be a bit of a thorn in the Cowboys' side (he's also a Lone Star native) while joining a title contender. The Seahawks, 49ers and Ravens also present intriguing possibilities.

Regardless of where Bryant ends up, seeing him in a new uniform will be unsettling at first, as will watching the Cowboys enter a year without their star wideout for the first time since Marion Barber was their leading rusher. Ultimately, it won't be until deep into the fall that we'll know who won one of the most notable player-team splits this decade. But kudos to Dez for owning the narrative thus far.

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1. Cornerback Daryl Worley, a 23-year-old Philadelphia native who was recently traded to the Eagles from the Panthers, was arrested early Sunday morning. He was reportedly tased after being found passed out with a gun in a car on Broad Street. The Eagles cut Worley on Sunday.

2. This is the time of year for strength coaches to shine, as players are coming back to facilities largely to work out. "The strength coaches don’t just stack weights and shout motivational sayings," Ben Volin writes. "They set the tone for the first two weeks of the season, when a team establishes its way of conducting business, and players get acquainted to their new surroundings.?" Which explains why Bill Belichick could be ubset about Tom Brady and his health guru, Alex Guerrero, trying "to hijack the training program."

3. Speaking of the Patriots, former New England wideout Danny Amendola said he would have had to have taken a pay cut to stay in Boston . . . and Bill Belichick is "an a--h--- sometimes."

4. Free agent QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended for four games after violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy. "I was blind-sided by the news and I want to say unequivocally that I have never cheated or attempted to gain a competitive advantage by using a performance enhancing substance," Sanchez wrote on Instagram.

5. Longtime Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski is now a Seahawk.

6. In New Orleans, Jeff Duncan checked in to see how things have changed since Tom Benson's death now that his widow is in charge of the Saints. "There's no reason to change," Gayle Benson said. "Why would you change something that's been set up so perfectly? We run this place like a well-oiled machine."

7. There's a lot of legal back-and-forth going on around the NFL's $1 billion concussion settlement with its retired players. Lawyers for the players have "accused the N.F.L. of deliberately using intimidation and manipulation to deny and delay payments?," according to The New York Times, while the NFL is claiming there is "widespread fraud infecting" the payout system.

8. Odds are, there will be three Edmunds brothers lining up for different teams this fall. Learn about them and their mom, Cookie.

9. The 49ers may be keeping Reuben Foster, but he won't be at team activities for now, San Francisco announced in a statement, "as he is tending to his legal matters."

10. By funding a spring football program, the Broncos are being credited with helping to keep high school football alive across the Denver Public School system, The Denver Post explains. One program has grown from 14 kids to 66.

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Snow canceling football in Green Bay? Now that's just not right.

(Alternate Headline: New Packer DeShone Kizer Is Already Studying Film—Harry Potter)

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