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Examining Dez Bryant's present, past and future

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Where does Dez go from here? (1:11)

Jeff Darlington breaks down the timing of Dez Bryant's release and the future for the former Cowboys wide receiver. (1:11)

FRISCO, Texas -- Based on the comments he made to the NFL Network after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys, it's hard to imagine Dez Bryant was really as "unbothered" by the offseason discussions as he let on.

There's so much to wonder about Bryant: his past, his present, his future.

Let's get to a Five Wonders, Dez Bryant style:

• Let's start with the easiest wonder: Where will Bryant end up in 2018? He has said he would like to play in the NFC East so he can face the Cowboys twice a year. ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted Saturday none of the NFC East teams seem interested in Bryant. Maybe that's a function of the impending draft. Maybe it's more than that. Since signing his $70 million extension, Bryant has 12 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown in five games against the New York Giants; 20 catches for 304 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in five games; and 24 catches for 336 yards and one score against the Washington Redskins.

If he doesn't stay in the NFC East, where does he land? To me, the best fit would be the Green Bay Packers. Why? Aaron Rodgers.

• I wonder why some people believe the Cowboys did Bryant wrong by waiting until April 13 to release him. The Cowboys had designs on making the move on the first day of free agency when they thought they were going to sign Sammy Watkins (who instead went to the Kansas City Chiefs). Had they cut Bryant before that, they would have been ridiculed for doing so without a replacement on hand. They could have cut him after signing Allen Hurns on March 23 but didn't. There were trade discussions regarding Bryant after the Cowboys signed Hurns, but nobody would take on the contract, even for a late-round pick. When it became obvious a trade wouldn't happen, the Cowboys chose to let Bryant go before the offseason program begins Monday.

• I wonder why people question why Bryant wasn't chosen as a captain during his run with Dallas. In 2017, he missed the conditioning test before training camp started. Late in the season he complained of tendinitis in his knee, yet he did not show up for treatment. In 2016, the Cowboys could not get in contact with him for multiple days after he suffered a knee injury in the third game of the season. In 2015, he wasn't around for almost all of the offseason program after receiving the franchise tag.

Players loved Bryant's energy and passion. Some of his sideline outbursts were misconstrued over the years as well. He played hard, but there was always something when it came to Bryant, and that's why he wasn't voted a captain.

• I wonder what the reaction will be if Bryant excels elsewhere in 2018. There will be a lot of "I told you so." But if the critics are honest, they have to know Bryant's time as a dominant receiver with the Cowboys was over. It wasn't going to happen here. There has been little accountability from Bryant regarding his drop in production the past few years. Has he acknowledged his performance was not up to snuff from 2015 to 2017? There were injuries. There was ineffective quarterback play in 2015. There was a switch in offensive philosophy in 2016.

If Bryant picks the right team, he could have another big season that might be spurred by the spite he feels at the moment. But again, he wasn't going to be that guy with the Cowboys.

• I wonder if Bryant will be included in the Ring of Honor whenever his career ends. He is the franchise leader in touchdown catches with 73. He is among the leaders in receptions and yards, too. He wore the legacy of No. 88 well, following the footsteps of Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson, who are in the Ring of Honor. He was (is) a fan favorite. He was (is) a Jerry Jones favorite. There is no hard-and-fast formula for a player getting in the Ring of Honor. It's a decision made by Jones, who takes input from several folks. Will Bryant make it one day? Maybe, maybe not.