Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant once set the market for wideout contracts. Since the loss of quarterback Tony Romo and the rise of Dak Prescott, though, his numbers have fallen off considerably. He has put up right around 800 yards both of the last two seasons and hasn’t been over 1,000 yards since 2014. That’s also the last time he had double-digit touchdowns; he has just 6 in 2017.
There has been talk that Bryant might need to take a pay cut, which he has said he has no intention of doing. Former Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware thinks that could mean 2017 is his last in Dallas.
“[Bryant] said he’s not going to take a pay cut, and I know guys that they have that are producing right now – you’ve got Demarcus Lawrence who’s producing, you got Zack Martin who’s producing,” DeMarcus Ware said on NFL Total Access, per the Dallas Morning News. “They’ve got to pay those two guys. You’ve got Sean Lee. So you’ve got to figure out where you fit in the scheme of things when you haven’t been producing that last couple years, right? And so, if you don’t take a pay cut, you’re not going to be there.”
Ware also pointed out that other superstars, himself included, had to take pay cuts to stay. Eventually, the Cowboys parted ways with Ware and he found himself with the Denver Broncos, where he finally got to cap off his career with a Super Bowl. He knows what these types of contract issues mean.
“When you’re going against Jerry Jones – he’s a business man,” Ware said. “He’s going to do whatever it takes for the team. With the $12 million that they owe him, $12.5 million for the next two years, you’re going to have to take a pay cut to go and get the extra guys to help out your team and be that team player. I had to do it. Romo had to do it. [Tight end Jason] Witten had to do it. All those guys have to do those things. You can get, what, four or five Cole Beasleys, right? And so you have to think about what you can bring to the game for them.
“They’re going to go – they already went to Dez and said we’re not going to pay you 12.5, can you do something for us to help out the team? If you say no, I’m not going to take a pay cut – guess what, you’re not going to be with the Dallas Cowboys.”