One of the more interesting days in recent Dallas Cowboys history was when the team decided to release wide receiver Dez Bryant. Amazingly, that was almost three years ago. Time flies.
A lot has happened in the time since then for both Dallas and Dez. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, they looked like fools for their decision early on, but a few months later they would draft Michael Gallup and shortly after trade for Amari Cooper. Of course, CeeDee Lamb followed a bit later and now the position group is arguably the most talented on the team.
Dez Bryant is the team’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns and having a record like that for America’s Team puts your name among the most-talked about players in the league. We saw Dez catch on with the New Orleans Saints a bit after he and the Cowboys didn’t rekindle things with one another, but an injury unfortunately cut that time all too short.
It was the Baltimore Ravens whom Dez ultimately connected with and he has now recorded regular season action with them. The Cowboys visit the Ravens and will see Dez on the opposite team for the first time in his career, it is going to be an outing so weird that in some ways it is fitting for it to come on a Tuesday night of all places.
Which former Dallas Cowboys has it been the most weird to see the team play against?
Due to the nature of professional sports, the teams we love and root for often have to say goodbye to franchise greats. It is a business as is often said. Dez Bryant wasn’t the first Cowboys great that the team moved on from and he will not be the last.
A lot of great players have played for the Cowboys and chosen to continue on their careers elsewhere. It can be jarring to see these players in colors other than silver and blue and while Dez looks awesome in the Ravens uniform, it will never be the same for all of us.
This brings us to our question of the day: Which former Dallas Cowboys has it been the most weird to see the team play against? For the purposes of this discussion we will exclude Emmitt Smith as he is the runaway answer, but there are a handful of people in even just recent memory that fit this description.
Dez Bryant, Baltimore Ravens
The Cowboys are going to be playing Dez on Tuesday, that is literally the discussion that we have been having to this point. He has literally caught more touchdowns than anybody in franchise history which might qualify him as the most popular answer to this question.
For what it’s worth, the juice of seeing Dez play against the Cowboys is somewhat lost. When he was first released it seemed like Bryant was going to head to a division rival, at the time the New York Giants made some sense, and even linking up with the Saints felt like wanting a shot against the Cowboys specifically. Dez infamously called out people like Jason Garrett, Travis Frederick, and Sean Lee as far as the Cowboys organization is concerned, but so much time has passed between then and now (not to mention that Jason Garrett is gone) that this particular narrative has fizzled out.
DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles
With all due respect to one of the heroes of the 2014 season, DeMarco Murray’s place in franchise history is nowhere near Dez Bryant’s. That was a magical time for the Cowboys and he achieved something very great in that particular year, but overall he simply had a nice career with the team.
As true as this is, DeMarco Murray’s defection from the club was rather infamous as he chose to actually stay within the division and flocked to Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles. Murray was never the antagonist while wearing a star on his helmet and the personality of who the Eagles are never really suited him.
Still, though, things were a bit contentious when the Cowboys first faced off against him, a game that came in the City of Brotherly Love (when Tony Romo was originally hurt during the 2015 season). At one point Murray ran out of bounds into the sideline and Dan Bailey (yes, really) was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for mildly interacting with him.
This is the type of thing that only happens when the air is thick with uncomfortableness. Shortly after the Bailey’s penalty, he found himself near an Eagles player and took no chances at another penalty which provided one of the funnier moments you’ll ever see from him.
Talked about this with @kelsey_charles on GTB-— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 5, 2020
In case you forgot Dan Bailey was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for mildly interacting with DeMarco Murray when the Cowboys first faced him in 2015
Shortly after he got sarcastic to avoid another one pic.twitter.com/HXSWf4U69L
The DeMarco Murray chapter was an interesting one in the Cowboys/Eagles rivalry and might be your answer to this question given the particular locker room that he called home after AT&T Stadium. Things still never realized what might have been the full potential of the story given how bad Chip’s Eagles wore and how horrendous that particular Cowboys season was.
Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings
We obviously just mentioned Bailey, but he himself was cut from the Cowboys shortly after Dez Bryant was. This particular move sent shockwaves throughout the fanbase as at the time he was regarded as one of the top kickers in the NFL.
Bailey struggled initially after latching on with the Minnesota Vikings, but ultimately he has been a nice addition for them. What made this move particularly frustrating for the Cowboys didn’t even happen until a year later as Brett Maher seemed legitimate during his rookie year with the team. Everything collapsed in 2019, though.
I’ve chosen just a handful of Cowboys turned something else and they have all been from the team’s recent history, but as noted there are a lot of people who could be the answer here.
Which Cowboys player that ultimately played against the team in a new uniform was the weirdest for you to see and experience?