Last week, during the first week of OTA’s, Dez Bryant made it very clear that he is looking for a pay raise.
"“Yeah, I deserve it. I deserve it. I feel like I do. I put the work in. But I let that kind of stuff take care of itself. It is what it is. I let my agent talk about it and give me some feedback.”"
Yes, Dez you are absolutely right, you do deserve a raise.
I mean if bums like Roy Williams can get a five-year extension worth $45 million and one hit wonders like Miles Austin can pull up to the JJ ATM and snatch up $54 million over six years then what in the world is a 25 year old weapon of mass destruction like Dez Bryant going to cost?
Before you answer that, take a look at his numbers over the last three seasons:
2011: 63 catches, 928 yards, 9 TD’s – only one game missed
2012: 92 catches, 1,382 yards, 12 TD’s – no games missed
2013: 93 catches, 1,233 yards, 13 TD’s – no games missed
In those same three seasons, Miles Austin had 1,765 and 13 TD’s… total. And Roy Williams?? Please. Dez is ten touchdowns short of tying his eight season career total… and this is only going to be Bryant’s fifth year.
That sound you’re hearing (BEEP!, BEEP!!, BEEP!!!) is the Brinks truck backing up with Dez’s money.
It’s not just the statistics that prove Dez has earned the payday. This guys works his butt off, year in and year out, and it shows. Constant improvements in catches and touchdowns from year to year. Check. A more vocal leader in the locker room. Check. The kind of guy that Cowboys fans can and should be proud to call theirs. CHECK!
Yes, Bryant used to have a few things pop up here and there which made us wonder about him, but here’s the thing. The things that got brought up about Dez were largely either overblown (saggy jeans in the mall) or misunderstandings (a disagreement with his Mom) which he has owned and made amends for. You don’t hear about Bryant getting caught speeding with weed in his car (cough, Josh Gordon, cough). You don’t go to whatever favorite sports website you frequent and find out that Dez is, yet again, suspended for the year because of alcohol abuse (see Blackmon, Justin). Not once have you ever seen the word “guns” and “Dez Bryant” in an article, unless of course, they are talking about his massive arms.
And then, there is this from head coach Jason Garrett:
"“We were in a special teams period in the middle of practice. It’s an eight-minute period, and most of the guys are involved in that period, and some of the veteran guys are over with their coaches,” Garrett said. “And I couldn’t help it, but I’m watching the special teams period and I see No. 88 walking over to the JUGS. He’s over there by himself with a couple of managers hammering footballs at him, catching balls. I told our film guy ‘Film that,’ and I showed our team that in the team meeting.”"
The guy loves football. So much so that instead of Instagram photos of Dez posing in front of a brand new Murcielago or at a party with women draped all over him, he’s posting videos of games he’s playing as himself and the Cowboys in Madden NFL 25.
He is the first receiver since Michael Irvin to sport the number 88 and carry on its legacy in the right way. Yes, Dez needs to be paid. And before you think that he doesn’t understand how to be a team player and he’s looking out solely for himself when he admits it, there is this from the man himself…
"“I’m loyal to the squad,” Bryant said. “I’ve always been. Me and my agent are going to talk about [a hometown discount]. We’ll talk about it. You know, this is big. This is life-changing. Like I said, I’ve done everything asked of me, and we’ll see what happens.”"
You cannot punish Dez because the other two guys cashed out and essentially quit. He isn’t them. It’s time to give Dez a very high base salary, low signing bonus type deal to keep the cap flexibility theme this team is finally starting to employ going forward. I say give him a six-year deal, worth $65 million but with only a $5 million signing bonus. Make each season worth $10 million to Bryant. He gets paid, handsomely, and you’re not ruining your entire cap on one guy like the Dolphins are with Mike Wallace ($17.2 million this season) or Kansas City is with Dwayne Bowe ($11.75 million in 2014). Both of those guys, combined, had less touchdowns than Dez did last year. They also had less catches and less yards.
I trust him… and you should too.