Well, would you look at that?
For the second straight day, we’re doing a story on a former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, who, although freakishly talented, is also an extremely volatile and contentious diva that oftentimes forces himself out of what could have been a great situation.
Yesterday, it was Terrell Owens. This time around, we’re talking about a guy who still plays in the NFL; he’s just not currently on any actual roster, and his name is Dez Bryant.
Owens and Bryant are actually eerily similar in a few different ways:
- Owens is 6’3″, 226 pounds; Dez is 6’2″, 220 pounds.
- Both finished with exactly 69 receptions during their last season in Dallas.
- Owens had 81 touchdowns and 592 receptions through his first eight seasons; Dez has 73 touchdowns and 531 receptions.
- Owens averaged 72.8 yards per game for his career; Dez has averaged exactly 66.
All I’m saying is that it’s surprising for a guy of Dez’s caliber, who has comparable numbers to one of the game’s all-time greats, to still be sitting on his couch this late in the summer.
He apparently turned down a multi-year deal from the Ravens in April, but since then it’s pretty much been radio silence for the 29-year-old. (There’s been rumblings of the Browns being interested as well, but there have been no meetings or workouts scheduled so far. Plus, come on, you really think Dez is going to play for Cleveland? Please.)
With the Patriots currently in dire straits at the wide receiver position – yes, even after signing Eric Decker last week – many have suggested that Dez could perhaps be the solution to the problem.
For all the flak he’s received the past few years for his “declining” level of play, Dez has averaged a more than respectable 13.6 yards per catch and almost six touchdowns over the past three seasons, in two of which he played just nine and 13 games, respectively. Last season, he played in all 16 games, finishing with 69 catches and 838 yards. The guy’s still pretty good, and he’s unquestionably better than most of what Brady has to work with at the moment besides Gronk.
But is he worth it?
Think about this: Dez Bryant is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in touchdown receptions, is third in team history in receptions, and is fifth in receiving yards…and the team threw him away this spring like he was yesterday’s newspaper. If he were older or heading toward the end of his career, it would be understandable, but the man hasn’t even reached his 30th birthday yet and is coming off a full season of play.
Again, I’m not doubting that Dez has a lot of gas left in the tank; he’s just also pretty full of hot air.
The whole reason the Cowboys cut Dez this year was because of his attitude. Plain and simple. Is he the first stud receiver with a big mouth and a flair for the dramatic? Absolutely not. But does Dez maybe take it a bit too far sometimes? I’d say so.
For instance, just last week he went on a Twitter tirade against Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, son of team owner Jerry Jones, after the former insinuated that quarterback Dak Prescott’s development was hurt last season by Dez’s selfish attitude and constant complaining about play-calling. Because he was always barking in the ears of teammates and coaches about how HE felt the offense should be run and how unhappy HE was, Jones felt as though Dez was doing more harm than good.
And maybe, JUST MAYBE, he wasn’t wrong:
Talked to a couple of Cowboys players this evening. To summarize:
1. Players I talked to are glad Dez is gone.
2. They collectively felt a player of Dez’s reputation needed to be a better leader.
3. Instead of being a leader, they felt Dez was neg. influence on young players
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 28, 2018
So, what does Dez do? Fire off a bunch of angry tweets, calling former coaches and teammates nasty names and, of course, complain about the team’s play-calling.
Look, I get that you’re mad, Dez, and I, too, feel as though Jason Garrett is one of the league’s most overrated coaches. And there’s no doubt that the entire Jones family is comprised of a bunch of clowns. But, dude, you’re not doing yourself any favors or attempting to silence the critics about who they think you’ve always been.
Even during his college days at Oklahoma State, he was known for always being late to meetings AND games, and he was cited for lying about working out at Deion Sanders’s house as an amateur (yeah, it was pretty dumb, but still). Tons of teams, the Pats included, passed on him on draft night, and he fell all the way to 27th in the 2010 draft when he should’ve have been a lock to be picked in the top five.
And last season’s transgressions weren’t exactly Dez’s first in the NFL either. It’s obvious that, through it all, he hasn’t learned a damn thing.
More drama is the absolute LAST thing this Patriots team needs right now, even though they could really use his talent on the field. Plus, reports out of camp are saying that guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett are flashing and making a lot of impressive plays, so maybe things aren’t quite as bleak as it seems right now.
Did Belichick take on the notorious Corey Dillon back in 2004 and things went just fine? Yes. Did he also go after an abrasive and thought-to-be-completely-cooked Randy Moss in 2007, only to see him unite with Brady and smash NFL records? Yes.
But is Dez Bryant worth the risk right now for this team? Sorry to say it, but no, he simply isn’t. Hopefully the guy matures as the years go on and finally finds his nirvana, but for right now, I’m gonna take a hard pass.