Ravens players immediately starting to recruit Dez Bryant

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Dez Bryant is no longer a Dallas Cowboy.

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.

With AP Photos.The Dallas Cowboys have released Dez Bryant, deciding salary-cap relief and the star receiver's declining production outweigh the risk of him returning to All-Pro form with another team.

The 29-year-old Bryant signed a $70 million, five-year deal after leading the National Football League with 16 touchdowns in 2014.

Since 2014, Bryant has failed to reach 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns, or even 80 catches.

Bryant made it clear immediately after that this was a decision made exclusively by the Dallas organization and he didn't have a say in it. "He will always be a valued member of our family", Jones said.

Making Bryant one of the team's highest-paid players while trying to fit him in with Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin, who was given a three-year contract extension this offseason, seems illogical for San Francisco.

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"This was not an easy decision", Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said.

Textbook Dez. He's never been one to shy away from telling us how he really feels and his first reaction to the news becoming official shows us vintage Dez hasn't left us yet.

Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones talked about how Bryant wasn't living up to expectations.

Bryant tweeted several times before and after he met Cowboys brass at the Ford Center at The Star, the team's headquarters in Frisco, Texas. He has earned three Pro Bowl nods and was named First Team All-Pro in 2014.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and the NFL Network later confirmed that Bryant had been released, citing a source informed of the situation.

Mathieu received similar interest from players when the Cardinals released him after five seasons. Their receiving corps struggled to get separation last season and it bogged down their passing game.

In eight seasons with the Cowboys, Bryant washad 531 receptions for f7,459 receiving yards and 73 touchdowns. Bryant has had a drop off in production due to a lack of opportunities, but make no mistake: he's ready to play, and he'll be back with a vengeance.

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