You can't discuss the most disappointing players without also looking at the most surprising. Bob Sturm posted this article that lists the five most surprising Cowboys this past season: 5) Jon Kitna, 4) Bryan McCann, 3) Jason Garrett, 2) Doug Free, 1) Dez Byrant. I cheated by including Ratliff in my disappointment list, and Sturm cheated by naming a coach to this list in Garrett. As much as I enjoyed Bryan McCann's scintillating returns, I know that he was feast or famine- placing the ball on the ground more often than any of us want from our return men. His limited contributions outside the big plays prevent me from placing him on my list.
5) Dez Bryant. I probably placed a little too much faith in Dez Bryant, as I drafted him in two of my fantasy football leagues. He was such a talent out of Oklahoma State and I was so stoked when we drafted him that validated pride would be a much better description than surprise. Dez brought electrifying plays back to Cowboys Stadium and gives all fans hope for years of dynamic highlight reels.
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4) Doug Free. I reside at BTB and therefore was part of the large contingent of folks that were just waiting on Free to get his shot. There was slight concern, but the reason he makes the list is that he was not only adequate, but one of the best tackles in all of football.
3) Sean Lee. Sean Lee was a second round draft pick that the Cowboys had ranked higher than quite a few teams on draft day. I wasn't sure what we were getting in the oft-injured linebacker from Penn State. Boy was I impressed. Lee graded out better than starting veteran Keith Brooking overall, in run support and pass coverage. It's not often the Cowboys supposedly reach for a player that comes through, and that caused me to have low expectations on Lee. I can't wait to see what he can do if he can remain healthy for an entire season.
2) Stephen Bowen. Bowen got to see extensive duty with the injury to Marcus Spears. I had no idea what to expect from him entering the season, as he had received extensive snaps and rated above average, but nothing earth shattering. Well in 2010, he saw an increase of over 100 more snaps than in 2009 and improved his overall ranking (pff.com) from 5.8 and 5.7 in '08 and '09 to a whopping 15.0 in 2010. No wonder Rob Ryan was singing his praises after he reviewed Dallas coaches tape for the first time.
1) Jon Kitna. After the debacle that was Brad Johnson: Backup Quarterback, I think most Cowboys' fans were leery of what would happen if Tony Romo went down for an extended period of time. Although he wasn't able to save the season, Jon Kitna acquitted himself very nicely in the role as America's team back up. It's good too, as he is signed through the 2013 season.
OK BTB, let's see your list!