There has been a lot of talk about what Dez Bryant means to the Dallas Cowboys. His five-year, $70-million deal has made put him under the microscope. His displays of emotion on the sidelines are highlighted by TV networks every chance they get. And then there’s the drops. Bryant uncharacteristically dropped a lot of passes this season. He finished the season catching only 69 passes for 839 yards and six touchdowns - all career lows for any season where he’s played 16 games.
Cowboys Nation has weighed in with several different suggestions of how to deal with Bryant, stemming from a straight-up release to someone coercing him into taking a pay cut. Do any of these things seem plausible? Recently, Cowboys Executive Vice President, Stephen Jones, was on Hanging With the Boys and had a chance to talk about Dez.
A couple things stood out from Jones’ remarks. First, he touched on the chemistry issue between Dak Prescott and Bryant.
When Dak came in, he certainly is not going to play the game exactly like Tony played the game. I think it hasn’t ever just hit on all cylinders yet in term of how Dak-and-Dez the connection works. I think it’s a work in progress. I think it could improve if given the opportunity.
While the connection was off for Dak and all of his receivers this season, Prescott and Bryant didn’t have things dialed in last year when the offense was humming. Cole Beasley was his favorite target, hooking up for a 75% completion percentage. Beasley led the team in catches (75) and receiving yards (833).
Jones would also talk about Bryant’s passion on the sidelines.
“The other thing that we all see and it is certainly visible to anyone who watches our games, watches our sideline, is Dez is certainly a fiery guy who plays with a lot of emotion both on and off the field. Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez, it can be a distraction for other teammates. And we just have to really get our hands around when you put all the full body of work together where that’s headed.”
This is really the first time someone within the organization has spoken out on Dez’s emotion in a negative light. Has the perception changed about Bryant and how he conducts himself within the organization?
Jones would also make a point of bringing up the fact that the financial investment the organization has made in Bryant is a big one and explain that it is something they are always thinking about.
“Of course we pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He’s as aware of it as anybody. … He knows when you get paid that kind of money there’s high expectations in terms of the productivity. … Those are all things we have to look at as a team, as an organization when we start to put our team together next year.”
Could changes be on the horizon in Dallas when it comes to Bryant? Do you think the team will make a push for him to take a pay cut?