Nov 12, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) on the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

There has been rumors spreading around Texas that the Cowboys might in fact release longtime wide receiver Dez Bryant after yet another down season for the former Pro Bowler. Given that Bryant is set to earn $16.5 million against the cap next season, that seems to be a logical conclusion.

Though, it’s no way etched in stone.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys are unlikely to release Bryant this spring. More than that, the insider notes that Dallas could very well look to extend Bryant as a way to alleviate his 2018 cap number and provide the receiver some long-term security.

By signing Bryant to an extension, the Cowboys could spread that $16.5 million cap hit out over multiple seasons. If they think he is actually part of their long-term future, that could make some sense. It is also important to note that Dallas would be on the hook for an $8 million dead cap hit if it did indeed release Bryant — making it more cost-effective to either trade him or extend the receiver.

Bryant, 29, has caught just 52 percent of the passes thrown in his direction since Dak Prescott took over for Tony Romo as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback in 2016. Needless to say, that’s not the type of production worthy of a $16.5 million cap hit. So something will have to be done between the two sides here soon.

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This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Dez Bryant
TEAMS: Dallas Cowboys
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