Dez Bryant was a great Dallas Cowboy. In his eight-year tenure in Dallas, Bryant hauled in 73 touchdowns and went over 1,200 receiving yards in three straight seasons. Before injuries started to take their toll, he looked like he was headed to an all-time great career.
Bryant’s outstanding performance on the field has earned him the honor of holding some pretty prestigious Cowboys’ records. He is the Dallas Cowboys all-time leader in touchdown receptions with the 73 mentioned above, he is fifth all-time in total receiving yards, and third all-time in receptions behind Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin, and soon to be Hall-of-Famer, Jason Witten.
Bryant’s time in Dallas created some memories that will never be forgotten. Who could forget his remarkable one-handed touchdown catch in Detroit, or his three-touchdown performance in Philadelphia to help lead the Cowboys to an NFC East title in 2014?
Regardless of what happens in the rest of his career, the former Oklahoma State Cowboy will go down as one of the best Dallas Cowboy receivers of all time. For the past few months, there has been some speculation that a reunion between Bryant and the Cowboys could be in the works. Jerry Jones’ comments back in February really kicked off this narrative.
“I haven’t talked to Dez,” Jones said, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “But I have been thinking about it a lot in the shower. I’m thinking about it.”
That is Jones’ rather odd way of suggesting that he thinks about a possible reunion between the Cowboys and Bryant. Jones is not a guy to close the door on anyone, and the Cowboys as a whole have been all about giving second chances in recent memory, but this time that really doesn’t seem to be the case.
Would it be extremely exciting to see Bryant back on the Cowboys? Of course it would. Getting to see him throw up the X after a touchdown in front of the Cowboys faithful is something any Dallas fan would love to see just one more time. But when you break things down from a practical standpoint, the reunion just does not make much sense.
First, Bryant is 31 years old, soon to be 32, and has not played in an NFL game since 2017. Before his release during the 2018 offseason, Bryant was already showing signs of wear and tear. Now, at age 31 coming off a two-year hiatus and an Achilles tear, there’s a real question of just how effective he could even be if he gets a chance.
Another reason it likely would not work, probably the simplest of all reasons, is the Cowboys just do not have a big enough need at the receiver position to take a chance on Bryant. After adding Cee Dee Lamb in the draft, you could make an argument Dallas has the best receiving corps in all of football. Adding a player of Bryant’s former stature on a gamble that he can still contribute is a real risk considering they already have Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb?
The third and final reason Dez and the Cowboys won’t reunite is Bryant’s lack of ability to play special teams. Back in his first three years, Bryant served as one of the Cowboys punt returners, but it’s safe to say those days are long behind him. If he was even on the team, Bryant is not a guy who could contribute on special teams, something the Cowboys will desperately need out of their fourth receiver.
It’s fun to think about the possibility and many Cowboys fans would like to see Dez Bryant back, but if he does return to the NFL, it’s not going to be in a Dallas Cowboys uniform. There is a team out there that Bryant would be a fit for, probably a few of them, but that team doesn’t call Dallas home.