Friday the 13th is a day filled with superstition. People walk around awaiting something bad to happen. Although most people make it through the day unscathed, this cannot be said about one NFL player in particular. After eight seasons with the Cowboys, Dez Bryant was cut. The news may not come as a surprise, as many have speculated this would happen. The move will save Dallas 8.5 million in cap space but will leave the team very thin at WR. Their current depth chart likely looks like:
- Terrance Williams
- Allen Hurns
- Cole Beasley
- Noah Brown
- Deonte Thompson
- KD Cannon
Fortunately for Dez, there are plenty of potential suitors: Titans, Bears, Bills, Cardinals, Colts, Dolphins, Falcons, Jacksonville, ‘Skins, Seahawks, Jets, Bengals, Pats. A few of these teams are unlikely, but all would benefit from adding a WR.
Four teams that some believe could show varying levels of interest in free-agent WR Dez Bryant:
*Arizona – Issue is little money left.
*Baltimore – Room even with Michael Crabtree.
*Buffalo – Wouldn’t be NFC East, but AFC East.
*Green Bay – A replacement for Jordy Nelson.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2018
Bryant’s production peaked in 2014 and has seen regression the past three years. 2015 and ’16 were season marred by injury. Over those two seasons, he missed a total of 10 games, fracturing both his knee and his foot.
His production bounced back slightly in 2017, but only finished as the 24th WR in PPR formats. His decline in production and attitude led to him being cut. Ultimately, Dez and Dak may not have been a great fit in the long run. Dez appears to have lost a step and struggles to create separation. Dak does not typically force balls into tight windows leading him to look elsewhere. Instead, he airs on the side of caution. Dak failed to capitalize on the back-shoulder fade game that Tony Romo was able to. Dez finished the season with a PPF grade of 75.2, which ranked 47th among all wide receivers. Bryant has a value equivalent to a late first round pick according to Dynasty Trade Calculator. If I were an owner, I would wait till Dez signs somewhere and then sell high. Dez will turn the dreaded 30 during the season and will continue to see a decline in his value/production.
- Dak Prescott – Losing his top weapon in the passing game will hurt. I would temper expectations for 2018 and look to sell.
- Terrance Williams/Cole Beasley/ Allen Hurns/Noah Brown/KD Cannon – A very lackluster receiving corps, arguably the worst in the league. Williams may become the 1 here. Even if so I want no part of it. Beasley should see an uptick in targets but unlikely a fantasy option. Nothing more than a potential bye week fill in. Hurns is a bit more intriguing and offers some upside. Typically, a possession receiver, Hurns will likely move outside with Cole Beasley currently occupying the slot role. The transition may not be smooth but Dez leaves behind 132 and Hurns is a candidate for many of them. Noah Brown and KD Cannon are both 2nd-year stashes. Brown is the guy I would rather own but I’m not rushing out to acquire his services. The Cowboys currently hold the 19th pick in the upcoming draft. As of now, I think it is likely they use that pick on a receiver. Ridley, Sutton, and Moore are the names that immediately come to mind. Any of these players would likely become lead dog right out of the gate.
- Jason Witten – 2018 will mark his 16th season at the age of 35. Despite this, Witten was able to finish as TE9 during the previous season. He has also not missed a game in the last ten years. He may not be one of the “sexier” options at TE, but he is very consistent. If I have a competitive team, I would be buying and would not hesitate to trade a mid third to do so.
- Last but not least, Ezekiel Elliot – Zeke is still a hold for me. The Cowboys will likely run their offense through the ground. Elliot will face more stacked boxes, but he will also likely see an increase in touches.