The game of football is a game of passion. And no one exemplifies that more than Dallas Cowboys wide recevier Dez Bryant. It’s that passion that has driven the 26-year old phenom to become the NFL’s top wide recevier.
But with the deadline to sign Bryant to a long-term contract in Dallas a mere day away, it appears the Cowboys franchise is about to make a big mistake. It appears Dallas’ front office is thinking more with their wallet than with their hearts.
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Though fiscal responsibility has seemingly worked well for the Cowboys in the recent past, it’s not how you treat a player like Bryant. Dez has a personality that extremely values loyalty.
Loyalty is the reason Bryant selected Oklahoma State over schools like Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas Nebraska and Louisville coming out of high school. He chose those Cowboys because their interest in him never wavered.
The last thing the professional Cowboys want to do is alienate Dez. And make no mistake, that is the current path this front office is walking.
Bryant equates loyalty to his paycheck, as most NFL players do. He admitted as much in an interview last November.
"“I just know what I’m going to accept and I know what I’m not going to accept,” Bryant told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram concerning his contract. “You know, it’s not about the money. It’s not about none of that. I just feel like a little respect should play a factor in that…I love it (here). I really do. But every day you grow. Let’s see what happens. It’s all about respect. It’s all about respect. I am a very loyal person, but just don’t test my loyalty.”"
Testing Bryant’s loyalty is exactly what the Cowboys are doing. By not budging when it presumably comes to guaranteed money in the contract talks, the franchise is essentially giving Dez no alternative but to feel disrespected. For a player with his personality, who’s game is fuel by passion, all the Cowboys are doing is pushing him away emotionally. And no one wants to see a reckless, resentment-fueled Dez Bryant on or off-the-field.
For those who believe Bryant should play under the franchise tag at a whopping $12.823 million, remember his previous statement. It’s not about money for him. It’s about r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Dez is so talented, he’s going to make his money somewhere. His representatives will insure that.
And for those who believe he needs to play this year for the money, please remember who his new agency is. Jay-Z (with a reported $550 million net worth by forbes.com) and RocNation will surely provide Bryant whatever he needs while he’s sitting out.
Bottom line is the Cowboys simply have to approach Bryant differently than other players. They need to stoke his fire and loyalty to get the best out of him. By not being willing to concede in these contract negotiations, the front office is essentially stomping out that fire and Dez’s desire to play in Dallas with every minute they waste.
When it comes to Dez Bryant, you must think with your heart and not your wallet. Where is Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones when you really need him? He knows exactly what I’m talking about.