We knew it couldn’t last, didn’t we boys and girls? The silence that had been the Dallas Cowboys off-season was interrupted in a big way when linebacker Sean Lee was once again lost to injury…and this time it happened even before the whistle blew on the first game of the season. What makes the loss of Lee even more significant is the fact that the Cowboys had already given up DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher to free agency. That’s coming on the heels of the 2013 season, which will go down in Cowboys history as arguably the worst defensive showing that has ever been seen in Big D. Now enter wide receiver Dez Bryant who wants to get paid. The timing is impeccable…
We all know that the latest #88 can put up some monster numbers. He has 25 touchdowns in the last two seasons and always demands a double-team when he steps on the field. What still bugs me about Bryant is his behavior when he isn’t on the field. Yes, I know Bryant has stayed out of trouble with the exception of that jewelry mishap and the sagging incident. The matter that worries me is the fact that Bryant is still showing signs of self-control issues on the sidelines.
We only have to go back as far as the meltdown with the Detroit Lions last season to see what happens when Bryant loses his cool. Screaming, waving his finger in Tony Romo‘s face and flailing around like a temper tantrum throwing toddler are not behaviors that lend themselves to being considered a mature adult in any profession.
Quite frankly, the argument that Bryant is just so competitive and wants to win so badly that his emotions get the better of him has run its course with this Cowboys fan. Of course he wants the ball in big game situations, but acting like a spoiled child only reflects badly and shouldn’t be an option.
In addition to his continuing, if admittedly somewhat improved temper issues, there is also the question of Bryant’s own problems with injury. His back was a source of concern in 2013 off and on throughout the season. Although he played in the finale against the Eagles, there had been reports in the days leading up to that matchup that Bryant might not be able to take the field.
If only for those two reasons, it would seem to me that giving Dez a new deal before the final year of his contract isn’t the smartest move the Cowboys could make. At the very least Dallas could put the franchise tag on Bryant after the season ends and get a deal done then. That would seem to be the best move here considering the Cowboys past problems with handing out huge contracts in haste, only to find that the recipients of those mega deals can’t or just don’t perform up to the level that is expected.
While Bryant’s contributions to the team can’t be overestimated, let’s not forget that Dallas still hasn’t signed rookies Zack Martin and Demarcus Lawrence. That’s not to mention new deals for running back DeMarco Murray and offensive tackle Tyron Smith that are most certainly coming down the pipeline.
It is also somewhat troubling to me that Bryant seems to be pressing the issue of a contract extension at a time when Dallas finds themselves in a pickle with the loss of their best remaining defensive player in Lee. That doesn’t exactly scream team player.
Maybe spooling back just a bit might be the best move for everyone at this point.