Did Poor Showing Harm Cowboys Dez Bryant's Elite Status?

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Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is a pure beast. Dez Bryant is a stud, a dominant force to be reckoned with in the passing game. Bryant is a game changer. I bought into the hype even though for some unknown reason Bryant would go entire quarters without catching a pass or having one thrown his way. All of those issues were supposed to be resolved this year. There’s no way that the Cowboys would allow Dez Bryant to reach the second half without a touchdown reception. All the off-season youtube videos of one-handed grabs along the sideline had me drinking the Bryant juice. Dez Bryant apparently drank from the same cup, admitting that he’s ready for a 2,000 yard season with 20 touchdowns. The season started and after week one, the Cowboys allowed Dez Bryant to be the NFL’s biggest joke.

Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is tackled by several members of the New York Giants defense in the second quarter of the game at AT

My attention during the game was focused on a few things, but Dez Bryant or the absence of Bryant, wasn’t supposed to be one of them. I wanted to focus on DeMarcus Ware battling offensive tackle Will Beatty, who weighed 66 pounds more than Ware. Ware performed well even shedding blocks on Giants’ running plays. I also watched MacKenzy Bernadeau stink up the offensive line. Honestly, if he were replaced with a mannequin, I don’t think anyone would notice.

Eventually, I had to see if Dez Bryant was on the field because I didn’t recall him having a catch. Later in the game, announcer/analyst Cris Collinsworth mentioned, “Dez is doing great things for the Cowboys, he’s being used as an effective decoy.”

Wait. What? Did you say decoy? Remember when Cowboy Nation thought, “With Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, we have two number one receivers on the field.” Defenses know our receivers and definitely respect Austin when he’s at full speed. If the coaching staff would smarten up and insert Dwayne Harris as the slot receiver, with Jason Witten at tight end, we really would have the best receiving corp in the league.

Aug 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris (17) returns a kick-off to start the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at AT

Speaking of Dwayne Harris, the kid just makes plays. I haven’t seen that type of special teams performance since the great Bill Bates. Terrance Williams being on the field is a Jerry Jones call. Williams doesn’t have a WOW factor.

Jones probably feels pressure to show the critics that Williams wasn’t a wasted draft pick and he didn’t fumble the ball with the infamous “draft day trade”. Harris simply looks faster, more explosive, better mentally prepared and has more reliable hands than Williams. Hopefully the coaching staff and Jones will make the right call and play Harris more.

I know what they say about people that quote themselves, but in a previous article regarding Terrance Williams, I wrote:

I looked at film of Terrance Williams and noticed he catches a lot of passes with his body instead of his hands. This is probably why it is already being reported that he has a problem with drops. Dropped passes never helps a receiver win a roster spot.”

I guess that’s usually true unless you’re drafted by Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Where was Gavin Escobar, our new, unstoppable tight end red zone weapon that we so desperately needed to draft in the 2nd round? With the new two tight end sets, he put up amazing numbers: 1 catch, 7 yards, 0 touchdowns! Exactly.

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  • True Cowboys Fan

    LOL cowboys won vs a division rival it was week one c’mon man really ? ? ? you think dez not gonna get his ? ? ? all i got to say is WOW & GO COWBOYS !! COWBOY Fan For Life !!

  • Falconer

    Dez will be just fine The issue I have is with the lack of creativity on the route designs . I am sick and tired of hearing ” They took him out of the game by rolling the safety over top” really ? Did this work with Jerry Rice? Hell no ! Why ? Because they put him in motion and sent him across the middle ! My Cowboys who I have been a fan of since 1975 need to draw up some creative routes ! What I am comcerned about is how the Giants had three receivers over 100 yards ! Crossing patterns where killing us because the safeties are not reading them soon enough the Giants picked on the single corner every time and completed way too many passes with a solid rush . That needs to be fixed .

    • Robert H. Carroll

      That’s true. As I mentioned, perhaps the Cowboys need some new formations and plays. They could’ve ran more bunch sets or a compression offense which would’ve eliminated the strength of the base Cover-2. The last time I saw Dez on a crossing route, Dwayne Harris threw a block and Bryant was going 85 yards against Washington. (I’m trying to stop using the term – Redskins.)

      Will Allen looked like the Safety version of Mackenzy Bernadeau. I don’t care if you don’t know the play call. Rule #1 as a safety is never let a receiver get behind you. It’s also rules #2 – 3,000,000!

  • ‘mericas_team2013

    “It may not be viewed as a sign of maturity. I don’t want to see anyone on the sideline pouting, but I’d like to see Bryant demanding that Romo throw him the ball.”- Yet just a few short seasons ago you were prolly one of the guys saying T.O. was a cancer because he wanted the ball and wasn’t shy about saying it, am I right? Also amongst the WRs you listed you failed to mention the BEST WR IN THE NFL CALVIN JOHNSON, who was held to 4 for 37 yards vs the Vikings and who plays across from him?(I know Nate Burleson, far from a huge threat). Even the best players can be held in check

    • ‘mericas_team2013

      Like you mentioned, the one thing Dallas has that other teams don’t is other guys who are capable of being legitimate #1 threats in Austin and Witten, and a few guys who could step in and be capable of being solid #2s(that are currently #3s) in Harris and Beasley. Which can make it very understandable why Dez has a down day esp when Romo throws for less than 300yds

      • Robert H. Carroll

        I’m glad you mentioned Harris and Beasley. I’m curious on your opinion on Terrance Williams? Currently he reminds me of Kevin Ogletree, which isn’t saying much.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      Nope, that wasn’t me. Actually, I’m a huge T.O. fan and was at the playoff game at Texas Stadium where the Giants upset us and went on to win the Super Bowl. Worst airplane ride home ever. Also, I didn’t mention Calvin Johnson, but I should’ve because even with 37 yards, he out performed Bryant. Johnson also had a touchdown taken away from him due to that – Complete the process of the catch – rule.

  • blueberryicedcoffee

    Dez is an elite WR. The Giants played defense to take Dez out of the game. He was double tamed the entire night. He’ll get his catches.

  • BeirutWedding

    I guess I could see your point more if Dallas had lost. With 6 turnovers, sure, it feels like they should have blown them away. But the fact of the matter is, they never trailed in the game. And take away Williams’ route blunder that practically cost the ‘Boys a pick six and Romo played nearly mistake-free ball. I really felt that Dez’s lack of productivity had more to do with Tony playing it safe and dumping it off a lot. Did he do it too much? Again, hard to say. The easy answer is yes, but I believe the more comprehensive answer is in the win column.