dez bryant-dallas cowboys

For eight seasons, Dez Bryant was one of the best players on the Dallas Cowboys and one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. After being selected 24th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, he racked up 531 catches for 7,459 yards and and a franchise-record 73 touchdowns, making three Pro Bowls and establishing himself as the face of a Cowboys era.

And now, all of a sudden, he’s leaving town, having been released Friday morning with little warning.

“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,” owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision. It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interests of the Dallas Cowboys.”

In the wake of the news, Dez posted several tweets, saying his release was not his decision but that he is #unbothered to be a free agent.

But Bryant’s most attention-grabbing comment reportedly came as the receiver was leaving Cowboys headquarters. According to Mickey Spagnola of Cowboys.com, Bryant walked out vowing to face Dallas twice a year, implying that he will sign with an NFC East rival.

And in case anyone was inclined to doubt that Bryant was serious about that, he reiterated the point on Twitter, then declared that his new beef with the Cowboys was “very personal.”

Cue Washington, New York, and Philadelphia fans rubbing their hands together.

Bryant’s numbers have fallen off somewhat in recent years, and at 29 years old he’s not young anymore, so you can certainly argue that releasing him was worth the $8 million the Cowboys will save from having him off the books. But ultimately, despite plenty of missteps and controversies, he was a great player who helped win a whole bunch of games. We’ll see if the Cowboys still view him as expendable when he’s lining up for the opposing team… maybe twice a year.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.