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Why is Former Cowboy Dez Bryant Still Unsigned?

At one point and time, Dez Bryant was one of the best players in the National Football League.

Today, he still remains unemployed with little to zero interest.

The Dallas Cowboys released Dez Bryant back in April, before the NFL Draft and after most of the marquee free agents had already signed. He has had several months to talk to teams about possibly playing for them, notably the receiver-starving Ravens, from whom he turned down a contract.

So why is he still unsigned? There are several reasons for that.

First, and most obvious, he has not had a productive season in quite some time. He has not topped 1,000 yards since 2014 and since that time, has put up mostly pedestrian statistics:

2015: 31 catches 401 yards 3 touchdowns

2016: 50 catches 796 yards 8 touchdowns

2017: 69 catches 838 yards 6 touchdowns

Making things worse for Bryant, he managed those 69 catches despite being targeted a whopping 132 times (13th in the NFL in targets). Taking his regression (due in part because of age and injuries) coupled with his declining stats, one does not need to watch the tape to see that Bryant is slowing down.

However, if you do want to watch Bryant play, it is obvious that he’s lost a step. The once-explosive receiver cannot create the separation he once did in previous seasons. Watch film of his play against the Eagles *backup* secondary in Week 17 and you will see what I mean.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, Bryant has been labeled as a “distraction” by Cowboys ownership. His frequent complaints with players and coaches, coupled with his inability to work well with Dak Prescott, had made the Cowboys sour on him. Ironically, the only team that would want a person like Bryant is the team that ultimately released him.

Short answer: Dez can no longer produce at a high level to warrant the type of a headache he brings to a franchise.

The only realistic chance the former Dallas standout has at an NFL job would be if a team suffers serious injuries during the preseason and brings in Bryant on a veteran-minimum contract (or a pact that makes Bryant highly expendable if becomes difficult).

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