Dear Dez Bryant: Where did it all go wrong?

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: Dez Bryant /

After three poor seasons, the Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant meet at the crossroads. Should Bryant take a pay cut? Or should the ‘Boys cut him?

I see a divorce coming.

For the Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant, this relationship leaves one to wonder only this: Where did it all go wrong?

Once hailed as the next great number 88, Bryant, who turns 30 in November, has all but fizzled in the NFL. No longer a deep threat to defensive coordinators, Bryant’s existence hurts the team more than serving it.

Outbursts. Emotional. Childlike.

All of this poor behavior has led Bryant more or less to the sidelines.

I, for one, loved that the Cowboys drafted him 24th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the freak in 88. He was the next great one. A “88” we were proud to have again, continuing Michael Irvin‘s legacy further and beyond, and maybe, into a new football landscape.

There’s no doubt Bryant had the ability, and he certainly had the confidence to back it up. His size (6’2″ and 220 pounds) and freakish athletic ability made him a marquee wonder to watch on Sundays.

He was simply, the “X” factor. The best of the best. The cream of the crop.

Now, things have taken a turn.

For one, it’s not 2012 anymore. Quarterback Tony Romo isn’t around. And no, that’s not a knock on current starter, Dak Prescott, either. Some quarterbacks mesh better with their receivers than others, and it’s clear, Dak and Dez are from alternate universes.

Prescott clearly plays better without Dez Bryant, while the latter probably longs for his old QB. Whatever the reasons, the Dallas Cowboys can’t deny the undercurrent there. The riff came crystal clear last year when the Cowboys faced an elimination game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Bryant complained. He got angry. The Cowboys noticed and decided to compliment the receiver with balls thrown his way. The receiver responded with dropped passes, a fumble and a self-inflicted deflection that gave the ball to Seattle. Interception.

You could have arguably listed Dez Bryant under the Seattle Seahawks roster for the day.

This article isn’t a he said or she said, cry in the moment, type of piece. There’s a divorce coming, and you don’t need a high-definition screen to see it approaching.

Stephen Jones, the director of player personnel, among other titles, is strong about his stance with Bryant. To sum it up, it goes something like this: Act better, take a pay cut, or you’re gone.

The only thing missing from this dialog is owner Jerry Jones drawing up some pictures on a dinner table-cloth to make this more clear. The message, however, is clear: the Cowboys are invested to make this team better with or without Bryant, and right now, that means focusing on DeMarcus Lawrence and the upcoming NFL Draft.

Bryant has little leverage. Sure, options around the league are plentiful for the dynamic Texas product. But if he wants to remain a Cowboy, his contract has to change. So does his attitude.

Next: Peter King - Cowboys would be smart to cut Dez Bryant

At the moment, though, he doesn’t seem like one to reach for a pen. You know, we’ve seen this movie script before, ain’t that right?