On April 13th, the Dallas Cowboys released their former star receiver, Dez Bryant. This is the 1st time in his professional career that his back is against the wall. This came after having a Season where he had 838 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. He has had 3 years of a decline in production since his 2014 Pro Bowl & All-Pro Season. A lot of his decreased stats are because of multiple injuries that have occurred in that time frame.
However, for many spectators including myself believe that it all comes down to the fact that Dez Bryant didn’t want to be great. Dez had become the typical athlete that is very talented but lacks the work ethic. It’s been reported that Shannon Sharpe, former NFL Tight End, has said on “Undisputed” that Dez Bryant only can run 3 routes in the route tree which talk more about how he hasn’t tried to improve his game. If you want to be great you have to be a practice early and ready to stay late to work on something new in your game.
As you become older at the Wide Receiver your speed and your strength may dissipate. However, your route running skills will keep you on an NFL Roster and highly paid. Larry Fitzgerald is used as a reference all the tie for an older yet still productive receiver. For a former number, 1 receiver has moved into the Slot, and he is just as good as he was in his prime. According to ESPN Larry had 109 catches, 1,156 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns this past season. Is it possible for Dez to recreate himself, yes he can, but it will take time and effort?
NFC East Landing Spots
Dez told the Cowboys that he will see them twice a year. So the question is what NFC East team would sign Dez Bryant?
The Eagles are one of the teams least likely to sign Dez Bryant. One of the reasons is because they signed free agent Wide Receiver Mike Wallace. The Eagles have become the new Goliaths of the NFL after winning the Regular Season and the Super Bowl. Bringing in Dez into their fold may cause problems. Will he be happy with not catching 10+ passes, and not receiving 100+ yards every game? The Eagles have and will continue to win together. Meaning that not one person will be successful but the team will play on 1 string and play selflessly.
New York Giants
The Giants are in total rebuild mode and Dez will not be a target of theirs. Giants Owner, Jim Mara, is on the record saying that he is tired of talking about Odell. So with that being said, I don’t see have they will sign another Receiver that you will have to answer questions about on a regular basis. I don’t believe that they should sign Dez Bryant. Because they still have Odell despite contract negotiations, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. They have the number 2 pick in the 2018 NFL draft and Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Saquon Barkley, and Bradley Chubb are on their boards. I don’t believe they would want Dez to negatively influence their younger players.
Washington is the most likely to sign Dez Bryant. With a disappointing season from Terrell Pryor, Washington is in need on a number 1 receiver. Washington’s Owner Dan Snyder would sign Dez because he can still play but he is very marketable. Dez would be an asset with Josh Doctson, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Chris Thompson. Washington could be even better offensively but I still have questions. If Washington signs him will he become complacent? Will he be a negative influence on the younger player? Will he be more of a headache than he’s worth? Only time will tell.
It’s Far from Over
Dez Bryant can still play in the NFL, however, he will have to change certain things in his game. This is a humbling experience for Dez. He has gone from being an All-Pro WR to a Free Agent, but not all hope is lost. USA today reported that Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Carolina, New Orleans, Minnesota, New England and the San Francisco are interested in Dez Bryant. Whatever team signs Dez will have to know what they’re getting, and he will have to come in with a humble mindset and ready to work.