Two years ago, the Dallas Cowboys made Dez Bryant their first-round selection. Now, it is uncertain Bryant will be a member of America’s Team for much longer.
According to a report from Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki, Bryant is not in the Cowboys’ plans for the future.
The way we hear it, the Cowboys do not intend to offer Dez Bryant a second contract and interviewed the Texas-grown Gordon closely.
The idea of Bryant’s stay in Dallas being a short one is intriguing and surprising, though certainly understood. With Bryant, it may be what you see is what you get, and the Cowboys may have seen enough to know he is not their guy.
Bryant has not been the least troublesome member of the Cowboys, but his physical tools, talent and potential. Turning him away appears foolish, but if the Cowboys believe they have seen the best of what they will get from the former first-round pick, it makes sense that a player like former Baylor wideout Josh Gordon piques their interest in the NFL’s upcoming supplemental draft.
But to quit so soon on a budding superstar with the potential to be one of the NFL’s best pass catchers? And for a young prospect who could prove to be just as troublesome with less accomplishments and potential?
Bryant is coming off a 2011 that saw a positive boost in his numbers and contributions in his second season with the Cowboys. He tallied 928 yards and nine touchdowns over 63 receptions in 15 games.
His presence as a red zone threat was made evident—a place Bryant will likely continue to be successful in going forward. With the departure of Laurent Robinson, quarterback Tony Romo will seek to connect with his 6’2” receiver more often in 2012.
But for how long after that?
Bryant’s progression is noted, leaping from just 45 catches, 561 yards and six touchdowns during his rookie season. The physical tools are all there. If he can focus on football and stay out of trouble—and stupid trouble at that—there is no limit to the superstar Bryant can be.
As a member of the high-powered Cowboys offense with Romo slinging the football, Bryant can only excel with more time. He has great speed, size and hands, how could the Cowboys possibly be moving on already?
Of course, Bryant has not shied from giving owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys their fair share of headaches. From hefty loan debts and law suits to getting in trouble at a mall for wearing his pants to low and being connected to a physical altercation within a nightclub in Miami, Bryant has been a handful.
This offseason, however, Bryant has stated he wishes to be “somewhat of a leader”for the younger players on the roster. He has kept his focus on football and appears ready to dive in for his third NFL season.
A focused Dez Bryant is a lethal Dez Bryant. And that is something the Cowboys ought not quit on just yet.
Bryant is in the third year of a five-year contract he signed after being drafted, but contracts mean nothing in the NFL. If Nawrocki’s report is true, Bryant may only have this season to prove that he can be a better player and stay focused on football and out of trouble.
Because if he can’t, it is possible the Cowboys have already settled on moving on without the hazardous receiver.