Jason Garrett says Cowboys 'love' Dez Bryant but non-committal on receiver staying in Dallas

The odd vibe around the Dallas Cowboys’ relationship with receiver Dez Bryant is growing only weirder, as coach Jason Garrett was non-committal on Wednesday when asked if he’d like to see Bryant remain with the team.

Via Dallas Morning News reporter Jon Machota, speaking with media at the NFL scouting combine on Wednesday Garrett said, “We have a tremendous amount of love for Dez Bryant. He’s been a great player for us for a long time.”

Asked the follow-up, whether Garrett would like to see Bryant remain in Dallas, he replied that the team has not discussed roster decisions.

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant in action against the Philadelphia Eagles last season. (AP)

And this seems to be the company line: vice president Stephen Jones was similarly non-committal on Tuesday when asked about Bryant.

Well, it’s difficult,” Jones said. “That’s the hard part about this business. That’s the way Jerry [Jones] is, the way I am. You do get attached to these men. They are all amazing people that lay it on the line for the Cowboys, our fans, and no one respects them more than we do. When these times comes, whether it is Troy [Aikman], whether it’s Emmitt [Smith], whether it’s Michael [Irvin], when that time finally gets there it’s a difficult decision… And not to say Dez is at that point, but all these decisions are difficult.”

To read what Jones said, it sounds like Bryant may be on his way out – or at least he will be if he doesn’t agree to a pay cut.

The 24th overall pick in 2010, Bryant is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $70 million contract signed after the 2014 season. He’s scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018 and count $16.5 million against the salary cap.

After a phenomenal three-year stretch from 2012-2014 that saw him average 91 catches for 1,321 yards and 14 touchdowns a season, Bryant’s production has fallen off.

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After missing 10 games over the previous two seasons, Bryant played in all 16 games in 2017, but had 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns.

The Cowboys are not currently scheduled to meet with Bryant’s agent during the combine.