If asked, Dez Bryant would reject taking pay cut from Cowboys

Time for the Cowboys to cut Dez? (2:01)

Mina Kimes highlights Dez Bryant's decline and argues that he shouldn't be paid as an elite receiver anymore. (2:01)

FRISCO, Texas -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant does not want to leave the Dallas Cowboys and has not thought about life with another team, but he understands the way the NFL works.

Scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018, Bryant understands questions about his lower-than-expected production compared to his high salary. But he will not take a pay cut if the Cowboys ask this offseason.

"I haven't heard no talk about that but if it comes, I don't know, probably not," Bryant said Wednesday. "Hell naw, man. I believe in me."

Bryant is set to count $16.5 million against the salary cap. The Cowboys can free up $8.5 million if they release him or $12 million if he is designated as a post-June 1 cut, with him counting $4 million against the cap in 2019.

After Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who has an affinity for Bryant, did not want to discuss the receiver's future.

Bryant was asked if he could envision playing anywhere else.

"I don't know, but if that came about, I'm still Dez Bryant," he said Wednesday. "I'm still going over the top. If it's there where I can grab it, I'm going to grab it. That's who I am."

Bryant, 29, leads the Cowboys with 66 catches for 815 yards with six touchdowns, but those numbers are a far cry from the 91 catches, 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns he averaged from 2012 to 2014.

In 2015, Bryant missed seven games with foot and knee injuries. He missed three games last season with a tibial plateau fracture. He has played in every game this season, but he said he has been bothered by tendinitis in his knee the past eight games. He has not been listed on the injury report.

"Well, I'm a warrior," Bryant said. "I consider myself as a warrior. If I can walk, I can move, I'm going to go out there and try to play. It's probably dumb, but, hey, that's just who I am. I love this game and I try to push it."

Bryant has gone 22 regular-season games without a 100-yard game. He has eight games this season with fewer than five catches, and nine games with fewer than 60 yards receiving. The low point came in the loss to Seattle when he dropped two passes, including one that led to an interception, and he fumbled once. Seattle turned both of his turnovers into touchdowns.

Bryant said he has allowed personal and professional things to impact his play, but he would not go into detail as to what those are.

"I just got to focus on the things that I can control and only I can control," Bryant said. "All I know is if my mind's not cluttered, I can beat whoever, whenever, anybody at any time. It's just sometimes I let certain things get to me that I shouldn't."

Bryant has acknowledged the Cowboys have a different offense than the one they ran from 2012 to 2014, leaning more on the run, but he expressed frustration with the scheme, not with quarterback Dak Prescott.

"That's something you got to discuss with them coaches, not Dak or me," Bryant said. "You got to discuss that with them."

Bryant is planning on sitting down with coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan after the season. He also will meet with Jones.

"Because it means something to me," Bryant said. "Like, I don't really do much in the offseason. I don't. I like to be in Texas. I like to think about football. I like to focus on football. That's all I care about. Just me thinking about this long-ass offseason is frustrating, and I just got to see what it is.

"But, hey, it's probably going to be my best offseason yet because I'm going to enjoy the s--- out of it. You better believe that. ... I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to get my body checked out. I'm going to make sure I'm right in all angles. And I'm looking forward. I'm just looking forward. I got my mind on 2018. I got my mind on spending time with my family. I got my mind on everything that I need to have it on. I'm set in stone. Like, I'm ready."