Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay lowered the boom on Dez Bryant, telling ESPN 103.3 FM on Tuesday that one of the reasons the team cut the wideout was his diminished ability to win one-on-one battles.
"It was a collective deal," McClay said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The [inability] to win one-on-one, to win downfield. There was inconsistency as well as some huge things in his play. So what's best moving forward for Dez Bryant [and] the Cowboys, we just made that decision. It's a production-based business."
The 51-year-old McClay, who has been with the Cowboys organization since 2002, was handed his current title with the team last season. Under McClay's watch since 2014, the Cowboys have drafted four Pro Bowl selections -- guard Zack Martin, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott.
"You have to make a decision to make sure you succeed and hold that trophy up," McClay said.
The Cowboys publicly announced the decision to cut Bryant on April 13, with the wideout later expressing his desire to remain in the NFC East. He reportedly turned down a multiyear offer from the Baltimore Ravens prior to the draft in a bid to find the right fit on a one-year deal that could help secure a bigger contract in 2019.
Dallas added wideouts Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin in the offseason and selected Michael Gallup in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The group joins Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Noah Brown on the Cowboys' roster.
Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with the Cowboys in 2017. The 29-year-old has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.
Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has failed to record a 1,000-yard season or reel in more than eight touchdown receptions in a season.
Bryant was a touchdown machine in the first half of his career with the Cowboys, hauling in 41 scoring passes in a three-season span, capped by a career-high 16 in 2014. He was named a First-Team All-Pro selection that year.
During that spectacular run from 2012-14, Bryant also averaged 91 receptions and put up at least 1,233 receiving yards in each of those seasons.