Watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, I started seeing a pattern with Dez Bryant, #88, Cowboys wide receiver. He begins the game excited and raring to go; give me the ball attitude. Then, as the clock ticks by and Tony Romo, Cowboys quarterback throws everywhere but Bryant, he gets agitated. Bryant has always been animated; don’t expect that to change anytime soon. What does need to change is his attitude when he doesn’t get the ball often enough, in his eyes. That temper tantrum right before halftime, where the cameras zoomed in on Bryant cussing out his wide receivers coach, Jimmy Robinson, shows a side that is very unbecoming of a man. This was to be his breakout season; so far, it’s more bust than breakout.
In the first quarter, Bryant caught a pass for nine yards. Later, he couldn’t catch an overthrown pass by Romo. In the second quarter, the graphics technician designed a fancy nameplate that followed Bryant around on the field. The announcers then used circles and said fancy nameplate to point out where he was positioned. On another attempt, he lost yardage on a catch. His first half production was a total of 15 yards. Just minutes before they went to the locker room, the camera zoomed in on the sidelines. There sat Bryant screaming and cussing at his receivers coach, Jimmy Robinson. To say that was embarrassing is an understatement. I have seen three years olds act better in public.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being passionate about sports. We are all passionate about the teams we love. However, this draws the line. Coaches do not get paid to babysit these grown men and should not be expected to take, what looked like, a brow-beating by a player. Some may not agree with me, but maybe Bryant should stop screaming and team up with his quarterback or peers for some suggestions on how to be more productive instead of yelling at his coach.
With that said, his production did pick up in the second half. Early in the third quarter, he gained eighteen yards on a pass from Romo; then another eighteen at the end of the quarter. Bryant made two big plays when it was needed, but it is imperative that he keep focused and leave the temper tantrums at home. In the fourth quarter, he had a nine yard completion, as well as the huge punt return for 44 yards. In three games, Bryant’s numbers are: 85 yards, 17 yards, and 62 yards. He has yet to put up a 100 yard game, nor does he have a touchdown. He’s had his share of drops and a fumble, but the glaring issue is the lack of touchdowns. This is not entirely his fault, as he has to get the ball to score a touchdown, but he needs to take that energy and focus on scoring. A promising season for Bryant was discussed by every media outlet in the nation prior to the first kickoff. So far, it’s been anything but promising.
To be fair, Bryant is doubled-up on, but when he does get the opportunity to shine, he needs to do so. There are many wide receivers in the league who do work, put up solid numbers, and do not throw tantrums. Some names that come to mind: A.J. Green, Torrey Smith, Julio Jones, and Jeremy Kerley; all receivers, in Bryant’s age range. Bryant isn’t even in the top 60 of fantasy football performers as of week four. He will improve, I have no doubt, but the childish behavior needs to stop.
It was just me being emotional and passionate like I’m always, that’s how I play the game. If I didn’t be that way, I wouldn’t be myself.
Yes, Dez, you are emotional and passionate – understood and appreciated. Just act like a grown man, especially while cameras are pointed at you 90% of the time. Even our TLH editor, Steven, gave Bryant the H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock award of the week.