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Cowboys release Dez Bryant, ending months-long saga

The team released the wide receiver during a Friday morning meeting at The Star in Frisco, WFAA Sports confirmed.

Dez Bryant is no longer a Dallas Cowboy.

The team released the wide receiver during a Friday morning meeting, WFAA Sports confirmed.

Shortly after the news broke, Bryant took to Twitter, writing "let's start the process." He used the hashtags #unbothered and his signature #ThrowUpTheX.

In a flurry of tweets, Bryant wrote that it "wasn't his decision" and sent his love to Cowboys fans that have supported him over his eight seasons with the franchise. He then teased the idea of playing against the Cowboys twice in 2018, which would mean he'd be playing for a division rival.

Another tweet read, "it's very personal."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released the following statement less than an hour after the decision was made:

"As an organization we hold Dez Bryant in the highest regard, and we are grateful for his passion, spirit and contributions to this team for the past eight years. He will always be a valued member of our family.

Dez and I share a personal and professional relationship that is very strong, and he is one of just a handful of players with whom I have become that close to over the past 30 years.

This was not an easy decision. It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys.

We arrived at this crossroad collectively with input from several voices within the organization. Ultimately we determined it was time to go in a new direction."

NFL Insider Adam Schefter wrote on Twitter late Friday morning that the Cowboys' plan going into the much-anticipated meeting was to release the veteran Bryant, “barring a last-minute change of heart.”

Bryant’s status with the team has been the biggest storyline of the Cowboys’ offseason, and the waters were only muddied by the team’s signing of free agent wide receiver Allen Hurns. Top members of the Cowboys brass had notably not met with their star wideout to discuss his future before Friday's meeting.

After three consecutive seasons of over 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns from 2012-14, Bryant has seen a sharp decline in production over the last three years.

He signed a five-year, $70 million contract ahead of the 2015 season. The knock on the 29-year-old is that he hasn't lived up to the salary since signing the contract.

He finished the 2017 with 69 catches, 838 yards and six touchdowns, but dropped the second-most passes (9) in the NFL.

Releasing Bryant saves the Cowboys $8 million of Bryant's $16.5 million salary cap hit. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the organization did not offer Bryant a pay cut before releasing him.

Dez was asked in December if he would consider taking a pay cut. His response: "Hell no, man."