The Cowboys did not offer Bryant the chance to take a pay cut, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The 29-year-old was due to carry a cap hit of $16.5 million for each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons - the final two of his deal - according to Over The Cap. Cutting him now creates $8 million in dead cap for the coming season and $8.5 million in cap savings.
A post-June 1 designation would have saved the Cowboys $12.5 million against the cap with only $4 million in dead money in 2018, but they opted for the immediate cap savings by forgoing the designation, according to Rapoport.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones released a statement following his meeting with Bryant.
Bryant took to Twitter after the meeting to express his thoughts and thank Cowboys fans.
Bryant, the 24th overall selection in the 2010 draft, has totaled 531 receptions, 7,459 yards, and 73 touchdowns in 113 games. He added 15 receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns in three playoff games. He hasn't reached 1,000 yards or 10 touchdowns since 2014.