The Dallas Cowboys need every ounce of Dez Bryant’s passion

Nov 20, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs the ball after a catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs the ball after a catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The value of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant to America’s Team is much deeper than what he simply does on the field.

The Dallas Cowboys 2016 season was a shock to say the least to the football world, as it sent chills of excitement down every diehard’s spine. A pair of rookie sensations in quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott took the league by storm, propelling the ‘Boys to tie a franchise best 13-3 record while dominating the league’s viewer ratings. But with all the young bucks’ success, the level of interest in one other star began to fade.

I’m not talking about former quarterback Tony Romo, but rather a magnificent specimen of a wide receiver who’s still crucial to this team: Dez Bryant. By crucial, I don’t mean he has to be hauling in touchdowns or drawing double teams. He means much more to the organization than that.

I understand not all will agree with me on that last sentence, but hear me out.

Only seven seasons ago Dez was also one of those young up and coming guys that had Dallas fans drooling during his rookie year. He didn’t have the same impact as Dak and Zeke in their first year (who has?), but I remember how ecstatic my fellow fans were of Dez’s future. That seems like a lifetime ago, and its crazy how the times have changed.

Dez’s recent injury history paired with the amount of money he makes hasn’t sat well with many fans. I still see plenty of posts saying he’s undeserving of his salary and there’s even been sports shows proposing Jerry Jones to trade Dez to create cap space. I’m sure you’ve heard the question of whether he’s worth the high price especially with the success the ‘Boys had without the All-Pro receiver for a short time span last year.

Make no mistake, he has earned his money and is worth every penny. The fiery receiver trails only the legendary Bob Hayes by four for the club’s all time leader in touchdown receptions. Football is the closest thing many of us will ever get to witnessing a battlefield, and Dez has earned his stripes.

However, the Texas native had been through many life battles before he ever suited up for the ‘Boys. He was born to a teenage drug dealing mother and bounced around countless homes in his teens before he became the man who throws up the ‘X.’ Although controversy and a negative shadow have always seemed to follow him, he found an outlet in football.

It’s been a bumpy road but he’s translated what he’s learned through those hard times to his football brothers, who he considers his family. In his Finish this Fight segment, he narrates a brief side of his story where all the passion comes from and how he’s falsely portrayed in his sanctuary.

Football has given him the opportunity to express all his passion that burns deep. It also gave him the opportunity to express how much he values family, and he’s had a huge part in molding the current atmosphere in the Dallas Cowboys.

More from The Landry Hat staff writers Dave Helman and Mickey Spagnola have described him as the ultimate teammate and the heartbeat of the team during a recent Talkin’ Cowboys podcast. Helman also mentions that locker room disturbances such as hazing have completely stopped because of the family foundation Dez has built.

He’s gotten a bad reputation for his shouting antics on the sideline, but it has never hurt his team or his teammates. His teammates love him and they feed off of him.

Even while dressed in street clothes during games, his passion for football and his family radiate contagiously around him. He loves representing the ’88’ and no matter how hard other teams try, he will never back down.

Dez lives for the fight and for the grind. He stands up for himself and those that he loves. Because of this, I’ve never questioned his importance to this team.

Just ask future Hall of Famer Jason Witten. The veteran tight end has expressed how much he loves playing with Dez because it’s never about him, it’s about the team. Everything he says and does is for his team, and his teammates back him up.

What we don’t often see in Dez is all the respect and love he has for those in his football sanctuary. He’s credited his mentors such as Witten for guiding him through his maturation process in the league. Now he’s taken the role of veteran big brother as he takes the young guys under his wing.

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He’s had a monumental positive impact on the organization regardless if he’s filling up the stat sheet or not. America’s Team is a family because of him. Whether in the locker room, at practice, or in a game his voice will be a key piece to the success of the Dallas Cowboys.