point between the two
Dez Bryant never lived up to the big contract he signed with the Dallas Cowboys when he was among the best receivers in the NFL.
If the franchise leader in touchdown catches is going to find his 2014 All-Pro form again Authentic Ronald Jones II Jersey , it will be with another team.
The Cowboys released Bryant on Friday, deciding salary-cap relief and declining production from one of their biggest stars outweighed the risk of him proving them wrong by becoming a Pro Bowl player again somewhere else.
And Bryant used Twitter to make it clear that he will be trying.
"If I didn't have my edge, I've got it now," he wrote among a flurry of tweets over two days, starting the day before a meeting where owner and general manager Jerry Jones told him he was being released. "It's very personal."
The 29-year-old Bryant signed a $70 million, five-year deal after leading the NFL with 16 touchdowns in 2014. But he didn't have a 1,000-yard season in three years under the big contract, and just played all 16 games without a 100-yard day for the first time in his eight-year career.
Bryant was owed $12.5 million on each of the last two years of his deal, with a $16.5 million salary cap hit both times. The release clears about $8.5 million in cap space.
"This was not an easy decision," Jones said. "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."
Jones' statement was more fodder for Bryant, who tweeted, "Key words in this statement.. Several input.. something I already knew."
Bryant and Jones had a unique relationship because of the trouble that surrounded the receiver early in his career. Off-field concerns were the reason the Cowboys got him; he slid to near the bottom of the first round of the 2010 draft. Dallas traded up three spots to get him.
Before the three most prolific seasons of his career, when Bryant averaged 1 Randy Johnson Jersey ,312 yards and nearly 14 touchdowns per year, he got tangled in lawsuits over unpaid jewelry bills and had a baggy pants incident with police at an upscale Dallas mall.
The most serious problem was a domestic incident involving his mother in 2012, with Bryant pleading guilty and eventually having the charge dismissed when he stayed out of trouble for a year.
Bryant also was a distraction throughout his career with sideline rants, even admitting late last season that he let frustrations affect him during perhaps his most difficult year in the league. He said some of the frustration was rooted in the offensive scheme.
"He will always be a valued member of our family," Jones said in his statement. "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."
With 73 touchdown catches, Bryant tops a Dallas list that includes Hall of Fame receivers Bob Hayes (71) and Michael Irvin (65). Tight end Jason Witten, who is getting ready for his 16th season, has 68 career TD catches.
A dramatic dip in production started when Bryant broke his foot in the opener in 2015, a year after he helped the Cowboys win the NFC East and just their second playoff game since the last of the franchise's five Super Bowls following the 1995 season.
Bryant battled injuries each of the past two years as well, but when healthy he wasn't the same receiver who had the famous catch that wasn't against Green Bay in a loss that kept the Cowboys out of the NFC championship game three years ago. He was second in the NFL with 11 drops last season, according to sportradar.
After getting 56 of his touchdowns in his first five seasons, Bryant had 17 his last three with the Cowboys.
Bryant never found the same on-field rapport with Dak Prescott that he had with Tony Romo Will Dissly Color Rush Jersey , who lost his job during Prescott's remarkable rookie season after Romo injured his back in the preseason in 2016. Romo was released last offseason and retired.
"Cowboy nation I need you to know this wasn't my decision.. I will always love y'all... forever Dallas in my heart," Bryant wrote in one post, which came only minutes after he tweeted, "let's start the process" in a reference to free agency.
The Cowboys left little doubt they were in the market for receivers in free agency, adding Allen Hurns after the four-year pro was released by Jacksonville. Six-year journeyman Deonte Thompson was another addition.
While Hurns is the most likely candidate to be the No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys could take a wideout in the first round for the first time since getting Bryant.
"No one will understand the love and the passion you have for the game," DeMarcus Lawrence wrote as one of several now-former teammates to reach out to Bryant on Twitter. "Wish you nothing but the best! I know you'll be throwing up the X soon enough!"
Astros manager A.J. Hinch is quite comfortable when Yuli Gurriel is at the plate with runners are in scoring position.
Gurriel hit a grand slam in Houston’s eight-run second inning, helping Gerrit Cole and the Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 11-3 on Sunday.
”He just has a knack for really putting the barrel on the ball and doing incredibly positive things,” Hinch said. ”His balance, his bat-to-ball skills, his bat path: Everything lines up when he can execute his game plan and he doesn’t miss pitches.
”He can hit anything anywhere and he usually hits it hard. And that was a big knockout blow for them early in the game.”
Gurriel finished with three hits as the AL West-leading Astros won for the 15th time in 17 games. Jose Altuve drove in two runs and scored twice, and Evan Gattis connected for a pinch-hit homer.
Cole (9-1) struck out eight while pitching five innings of one-run ball. The right-hander has struck out at least eight in 12 of his 16 starts.
”You know ideally I’d like to get a little more length there, especially after the bullpen had to work last night Hayden Hurst Youth Jersey ,” Cole said. ”Some of that is out of my control a little bit. So, just kind of get back to the grind and get to the next one.”
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the second, and Tony Kemp brought home the first run when he reached on catcher’s interference on Drew Butera. George Springer then lined out, but Alex Bregman walked, Altuve hit a two-run single and Carlos Correa walked before Gurriel connected against Jason Hammel (2-9) for his second career grand slam.
”Put guys on base for free and make mistakes and that’s what happens,” Hammel said.
Gurriel also hit a solo drive in Saturday’s 4-3 win in 12 innings. It’s the first time since July 21-22, 2017, that Gurriel has homered in back-to-back games.
”My concentration level definitely is focused when there are runners on base and guys that we want to get to score,” Gurriel said through a translator.
Kansas City dropped to 3-18 in June. Hammel was tagged for nine runs, matching his season high, and walked five in four innings.
Lucas Duda hit his fifth homer for the Royals, and Rosell Herrera singled in a run.
”They have a really good pitching staff over there,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”It’s hard to fall behind that group and battle back because they are so good.”
TIME TO SHAVE
Bregman had been working on a mustache the last few days Josh Rosen Jersey Elite , but it disappeared during the game. A split-screen picture of Bregman during his at-bat in the second inning and next plate appearance in the fourth showed he had shaved at some point between the two at-bats.
”I don’t pay attention to Alex’s shaving habits during the middle of the game,” Cole said. ”I did like the mustache. I thought it played Jeff Kent-esque. It was on top of his lip when he stabbed that soft liner in the first inning, which got us out of the jam. So, personally I’m a fan of the `stache. I guess it’s been sent down. It’s been DFA’d and we’ll wait until it comes back.”
Gattis has 11 homers and 32 RBIs in his last 25 games. He has driven in 25 runs in June.
Astros: RHP Joe Smith (elbow discomfort) threw his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list. Smith threw about 30 pitches. He said he felt good and will know more of where he is at depending on how he feels on Monday.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller (1-2, 2.63 ERA) faces the Angels on Monday in a make-up game. Last time out, Keller got a no-decision against Houston in a 7-4 loss on June 17. Keller allowed three runs in six innings against the Astros.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.60 ERA) faces the Blue Jays on Monday. Verlander leads the American League in ERA, WHIP, opponent OPS and opponent batting average.