While this Sunday’s game against the Rams may not seem like a MUST SEE game at first glance, there is at least one essential reason to make sure you’re around for it. The Cowboys second-half offense. More specifically, the red-zone and Dez Bryant’s performance, or lack of.
Dez Bryant was drafted last year 24th overall. When Dallas traded the 27th spot to New England his impact was immediate, playing under Roy Williams and Miles Austin. Barring an ankle injury there’s no doubt Diamond Dez Bryant could’ve been ‘Rookie of the Year’. Making plays all over the field with his body, his leap, and tremendous hands he seemed like the total package. Michael Irvin 2.0, in his limited time as 3rd on the totem pole, Bryant came away with 561 yards and 6 touchdowns in his first 12 games. He added another 2 TD’s on punt returns.
Fast forward now to this year and there’s a world of difference. With at least 4 interceptions going in Bryant’s direction on what seem to be blown routes, he’s missing his mark. Now, the Cowboys top receiver
has become a ghost in the second half. He’s become a late-game liability. Often not even drawing double-coverage. Dez has an ability to beat the defender, to get downfield. He has lost quarterback confidence. Late in games the Cowboys seem to be of the mind that they can’t afford costly turnovers and believe that Dez is too dangerous to target. His undisciplined approach to the playbook is glaring. As a top receiver he has not had catches in the second half. This season, it’s all first half stats that amounts to 14 catches for 249 yards and 3 TD’s. That’s only 2 more catches than Laurent Robinson and the same amount as Felix Jones. It seems for now that there is a ‘no throw’ policy in the final 2 quarters of the game. Eliminating late game turnovers is priority number one, with the way some of the games went so far you can almost understand why.
Interestingly enough, Dez continues to get looks in the first half, which is encouraging. It would lead one to believe that the conversation has been had, and Garrett and Co. feels he is making strides. Strides aren’t good enough. For the team and for the season, Bryant needs to commit. Get his head in the book and don’t come up till he has to. At this point if not to justify the Roy Williams cut, then to let us believe again that our star has arrived. That the answer to our prayers have been met by yet another All Pro super stud sportin number 88. It’s time for Diamond Dez to put the pedal to the metal, gain back his quarterback’s confidence, own his role, and do it with style and poise.
What Dez Bryant does in both halves of the game Sunday against the St. Louis Rams is critical. Not just for the confidence of fans, but the coach and his team. Everyone around the league will be watching and waiting. They want to write-off Dez Bryant, to tell that story. Everyone will be watching to see if Dez can do it again. As for our upcoming opponents, they’ll be watching too. Especially the troubled Eagles, who will be anxious to flex their new, fully loaded secondary. Their hunger for a win against Dallas is so bad they can already taste it.
R. A. Knight | Special contributor | The Boys Are Back