When the emotion fades away, it’s not the most difficult thing in the world to rationalize why the Dallas Cowboys decided to move on from Dez Bryant as relating to football purposes.
It’s tough to remove that emotion, though. Dez Bryant was a superstar for this team and he played in Dallas for eight seasons. He’s provided highlights we’ll never forget. He caught it at Lambeau Field.
Of all his accomplishments, Dez’s greatest as a member of America’s Team is indisputably becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns. That’s quite a feat.
Seeing someone with such accreditation released is saddening, but in more than just an emotional way. It’s saddening to see that Dez Bryant had such a great career while wearing the star, but that it didn’t translate into the type of on-field success Cowboys fans want.
Such is true for more than Dez Bryant, though. Over recent seasons we’ve seen the Cowboys release DeMarcus Ware and Tony Romo. Both own their own shares of Cowboys records, and considering how many have been broken over the last 20 or so years, it’s frustrating that there hasn’t been any legitimate payoff to it.
Since 2003 Cowboys have seen careers of DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo, & Dez Bryant end in Dallas with each ending franchise leaders in respective categories (Witten too, for that matter).— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) April 14, 2018
Literally greatest performances in team history and didn’t even reach an NFC Championship Game.
Consider all of the franchise records that have fallen in the 21st century:
- Career Receptions: Jason Witten broke the Cowboys record for most receptions (as a tight end no less!) with 1,152 (and counting)
- Career Receiving Yards: Witten also owns this record with 12,448 at the moment (Dez ranks fifth)
- Career Receiving TDs: As noted, Dez owns this record with 73 touchdowns, but Jason Witten trails him by five with 68, he very well could catch him, but it’s dicy
- Career Passing Yards: Tony Romo broke Troy Aikman’s record and ended his career with 34,183 yards
- Career Passing TDs: Romo has thrown more passing touchdowns than anyone with 248
- Career Sacks: DeMarcus Ware has an astonishing 117 career sacks in Dallas, Greg Ellis even has 77 in third place to add to the point
What’s more is six of the top seven most passing yards, and seven of the top 10 in terms of touchdowns, seasons belong to Tony Romo (although this could be attributed to the NFL becoming more of a passing league).
DeMarco Murray even had the most rushing yards in a single season for the Cowboys back in 2014. Zeke’s rookie year ranks fifth in franchise history.
Dez Bryant also has the most receiving touchdowns in a season in franchise history with 16 (2014), and Terrell Owens is in second place with 15 back in 2007.
The point here is that all of these things, all of these great accomplishments, including the Cowboys seeing all-time records for one of the NFL’s most storied franchises be broken, they all have happened in a time span where Dallas has failed to even reach an NFC Championship Game.
None of this is meant to berate the Cowboys, but these are all facts. As a franchise they have wasted these incredible performances. They should be heralded for finding players to reach such heights, but they should equally be criticized for not capitalizing on them.