Death, taxes, and offseason storylines of Dez Bryant wanting to return punts.
We all know that Dez Bryant’s first touchdown as a Dallas Cowboy was a 62-yard punt return.
We all know that he housed a 93-yard punt return for a score later that season as well. And yes, we all know that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown also returns punts.
The current iteration of the Dallas Cowboys features an arsenal of potential punt returners. There’s Lucky Whitehead (who improved from 5.8 yards per return in 2015 to 7.8 in 2016), Cole Beasley (Lucky’s fill in when the team isn’t totally trusting Mr. He Won’t Mind), and rookie Ryan Switzer (he seems to be electrifying every time he touches the ball).
Reality says that it simply doesn’t make sense to have your star wide receiver - who has missed 10 games over the last two seasons - fielding punts. Fun and Madden instincts say, “Do it! Dez is Dez! He’s capable of scoring at ALL times!”.
Count me in the camp that’s fine with punt return duties belonging to the Not-Dez-Bryant Club. Punt returns are one of the biggest wildcard-type plays an NFL game can offer, and I want to minimize the odds of bad things happening in any capacity that I can.
Beyond taking precaution with Dez though, I don’t want punt returns to be a thing anyone “also” does. The jury is still somewhat out on Lucky Whitehead - a lot of people have already handed his roster spot to Switzer - but it makes sense to have a designated return man (the Dwayne Harris loyalists weep).
This also nips the “Let Dez return punts when we really need a score!” argument in the bud. Say you’re in the middle of your Week 13 game against Washington, and you throw Dez out there to make some magic happen in the 4th quarter. At this point, especially this late in the season, Dez is cold to the punt return game. With such a critical thing, you can’t take such shoot-from-the-hip chances (which Cowboys fans benefited from in Washington in 2015... holla DeSean Jackson!).
There’s no denying that of all human beings on this planet, Dez Bryant is one of the most dangerous when a football is in his possession, so I understand wanting to give him more touches. I also understand, and completely love, Dez’s inclination to always want to do more. Ultimately though, for me it doesn’t fit logistically enough with this team to where it’s really warranted.
What do you think, though, BTB?
Should Dez Bryant be returning punts for the Cowboys?
This poll is closed
YES: Let Dez punt, too! I want the ball in his hands as much as possible.
Eh, maybe: The idea is cool, but I’m on the fence.
Sometimes: I like my cake and want to eat it, too. I’ll throw Dez in on occasion.
Nah, I’m good: The other options are so great, we don’t really need Dez for that anymore.
NO WAY: Nope, negatory, and no thanks.