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Dez Bryant says “hell no” to taking a pay cut for 2018

Dez Bryant doesn't like the idea of having to take a pay cut from the Cowboys in 2018, but chances are that's exactly what is going to happen.

Dez Bryant wants to stay with the Cowboys.

“I’m a Texas boy,” the receiver said, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.

But Bryant doesn’t want any part of a pay cut, which means he could move elsewhere in the offseason unless he changes his mind.

“I haven’t heard no talks of [a pay cut], but if it comes . . . I don’t know,” Bryant said. “Probably not. Hell no. I believe in me.”

The Cowboys are scheduled to pay Bryant $12.5 million in base salary, and he has a $16.5 million salary cap hit for 2018. But in the three seasons since signing a five-year, $70 million deal, Bryant has missed 10 games with injuries and has only 147 catches for 2,012 yards and 17 touchdowns.

This season, Bryant has 66 catches for 815 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games. That ties him for 24th in catches, ranks him 24th in yards and ties him for 44th in touchdowns. He has not had a 100-yard game since November 13, 2016, going 22 games without one.

“Some of the film I see, damn, I’m running routes a lot better than this person and this person,” Bryant said. “It’s all about the opportunities. Hey, it is what it is. Hey, I’m Dez Bryant, baby, all day.”

Bryant, 29, said he has battled tendinitis since early November. The Cowboys have not listed him on the injury report.

In Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, Bryant’s frustration boiled over on the sideline. He appeared to be demanding the ball, and then when he got it, Bryant fumbled. He also dropped a pass and had another bounce off his hands for an interception, prompting quarterback Dak Prescott to say, “I think I have to throw him a better ball. Just put it right there on his face mask and don’t give him a chance to drop it, I guess.”

On Wednesday, Bryant took responsibility for the drops.

“Hell yeah, I’m frustrated,” Bryant said. “I believe in who I am. I’m a helluva football player. I know that. I believe that. I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally.”

He said he would discuss his frustrations with owner Jerry Jones, head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan in the offseason. (That is if he returns.)

Bryant tweeted earlier this week that “controlling what only I can control is at the top of my list.”

“I know if my mind is not cluttered, I can beat whoever and whenever and anybody at any time,” he said. “Sometimes I let some things get to me that I shouldn’t.

“Watch the tape. I feel like at times I look damn good, and then I get to thinking about certain things and it bothers me.”