Friday, April 23, 2010

Dez Bryant is a Cowboy; We Happy?

First, a disclaimer: I have never met Dez Bryant, and I don't know that he is a high maintenance player. I remember hearing that Nick Van Exel was a bad guy before he was brought here and then when he was here he was nothing but a great mate and a competitor who would not lose without a fight.

If there is one thing I have learned in 12 years in Dallas it is to be careful not to judge a book by its cover. Some guys are not problems like they are advertised as, and others are said to be good dudes who turn out to be very poor in Dallas.

You just never know. Every situation is different.

But, when people want to know what I think about the Dez Bryant pick last night, here is my take.

A) - It is so Jerry. Fall in love with a talent. Sometimes this guy is a regional talent. Maybe one who has ties to former Cowboys. Maybe one who has some warts that other teams won't touch. Talk himself into the idea of the talent being too good to pass up. Waiting and then pouncing. Sometimes it works (Felix Jones), and sometimes it is Terrell Owens or Roy Williams or Quincy Carter or Alonzo Spellman or Antonio Bryant or Mario Edwards.

B) - Beyond that, Dez is an amazing talent. Whether he is coachable remains to be seen - is he already convinced he is the greatest talent since sliced bread? Or is he ready to be taught? But, there is no denying his electricity. There is no way to make a case that this doesn't make the Cowboys way more difficult to defend. Remember the theory that with Owens, Roy Williams, and Jason Witten in 2008 that you cannot double team everyone? Well, with Miles Austin, Bryant, Witten, and anyone, that should really be true.

C) - This is not pick #6 or Pick #11. At that point, the money is very high and the risk is great. But at #24, you can make the case that there is really too much upside to pass. #24 is far south of where the Cowboys took Bobby Carpenter and Marcus Spears. #24 is a safe place to take a chance. I assume that unlike Michael Crabtree of Deion and Eugene Parker fame, Dez is cool with the money that #24 is to get - not some delusional idea that since he is a "Top 10 talent" he should get a "Top 10 deal". That may be a poor assumption, but let's see if he can get to camp on time.

D) - But, here is my real issue. And it has very little to do with Dez Bryant and cleats and NCAA suspensions. The Cowboys are not a great place for divas. Allow me to take you back to the final game of the 2008 season and what I wrote the next morning after a 44-6 embarrassment in Philadelphia :

I certainly don’t want to be the old man here, especially if the “young man” needing the lecture is Jerry Jones, but what kind of team has been built? What kind of selfish, narcissistic, ego maniacs have you assembled here? This season has revealed so much. It has shown that when adversity hits, this team reveals its character. And while a large portion of the team may have the “good” kind of character, there is a faction that certainly seems to lack it. That faction affects everything. It undermines leadership, it teaches the kids how to conduct themselves, and when things go poorly, they are the first to turn knives on the team. As they say, this team is not a team of character. It is a team of characters.

So, now you combine a team of characters – many who have already been promised their money - with a coaching staff that seems to command almost no respect from those that would undermine them, and you have what you have right now…a pile of rubble.

After that game and season, Jerry found his brain and dismissed many of the knuckleheads (Tank, PacMan, and Terrell) who refused to get in line and respect their superiors. By the way, it is worth noting that 2 of those 3 are known friends of "Deion/Michael Incorporated".

I preferred that Jerry just hired a coach who demanded respect and didn't take any garbage, but he decided to not change the power structure, but be mindful of the type of player that operates well in a place where you do not have a coach in your face yelling at you.

So, forgive those of us who remember 44-6, and recoil when the Cowboys forget their past and hop back in bed with those who are said to be high maintenance and require babysitters. Bryant may in fact be misunderstood. He may be no trouble ever. But, you must forgive me if I am suspicious about whether Jerry just let another clown back into this circus.

So, what do I think about the pick?

I think I like it. I preferred Devin McCourty, but honestly, there is no denying that this is the best football player that you can get at that spot. Jerry loves to gamble, and he has won his share of hands.

Let's hope this is another one for the win column.


Mark said...


Adam said...

This was a pick to replace 2011.

I think that it will take Dez time to adjust to the system and the league, and by giving him a redshirt year to be humbled, and learn, the Cowboys made a pick at the right time.

There's also a possibility (albeit small) that Roy becomes what they thought he was. In that case, perhaps they feel like they can let Austin go in 2011.

This was a chess move of a draft pick - thinking 2 steps ahead. Especially when Jerry's reached in the past, I'm glad that he decided instead to just grab the guy they had at the top of the chart, which was obviously Dez.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but Jerry didn't get the money to buy the Cowboys by going safe, and there's nothing that suggests he'd go safe here.

I also don't think it's too unlike the '08 draft, or the '07 draft, where they had "glaring needs" and took a guy at a position that had experience (Spencer/Ellis, Felix/Barber).

It creates competition and hopefully pushes Roy. At the end of the day, though, you can't have too much talent, and they grabbed a big slice o' talent deep in the first.

Tofer said...

I saw him slide and slide... when it came down to NE's turn I thought that was the last and most likely spot where Dez would get picked. By that point I thought that he had moved down enough and the Cowboys still hadn't made a move to get him, Pats were getting him for sure... TRADE showed up on the screen, you KNEW it was Jerry!
After the pick I started thinking what did we give up and what are the downsides: moved from the late 3rd into the mid 4th, that's it. If this works out (God I hope it works out. *fingers crossed*) it will be one of the biggest/best moves the Cowboys have made in the Draft.

Bert Power said...

You've got to love sports!!! Agreed, Bob?

David said...

I don't consider Bryant a risk pick, just because he was a top 10 talent by most teams given the dreaded "dropping in the draft" status. He has Irvin-like intangibles (fighting for the ball, excellent route-runner), but does he have his heart? We'll see!

I would love it if Jerry would trade up with the Vikings in the 2nd round to get Mays at Safety. If not, the Bucs will take him. WOuld it take our 2nd and both #4's or just one? If only one, we could get a decent tackle with the other 4th.

Either way, this team will have a surplus of WRs. Could the Rams be interested in R. Williams and a few picks we give them? It seems that need pure number of picks I would think to address more roster spots. How great would it be to get Mays and get rid of Williams all in one move? Ogletree deserves more snaps and Crayton has good hands as a 3rd down guy. Jerry's gotta do something with Roy now.

Jay said...

I'm really hoping Jerry moves Roy now pre-2010. I would love to get rid of him. Do you think Roy is going to get more pleasant when Dez is stealing PT? I am hoping Jerry moves him for basically trash as a 'package' deal that let's him save face and doesn't look like he's just dumping Roy. I can't imagine any team wanting Roy unless he's cut entirely but who knows.

Doctorjorts said...

I think this pick does several things -
A) it adds depth at a crucial position, one where we've had injury concerns in recent years
B) it sends a message to Roy, that his awful body of work in Dallas isn't going to cut it for long with this great young player pushing for playing time, and it sends a message to Miles that his role as Witten's sidekick isn't set in stone yet.
C) it gives Jerry a chance to make a sexy first-round pick, our biggest splash since DeMarcus Ware.
I almost thought is was comical what Irvin and Deion said if you saw the NFL network coverage of the pick. (and you can check it out online) Is there anyone other than Terrel Owens that you'd be LESS interested in having as a player's mentor than those clowns?

Shawn said...

Overblown risks. Typical media hype.

This is a 20 year old rookie. Does anyone really think he can walk into a room of veteran stars like Romo, Ware, Witten, etc. and do anything of consequence? Do you think Miles Austin and Mike Jenkins are looking up to Dez Bryant for influence? This rookie is going to single handedly turn the locker room? Come on.

Dez is a knucklehead but he's not a problem like Owens, Tank, PacMan were PROBLEMS. Dez is a knucklehead like Maty B. Marty B is a knucklehead, we shake our heads at him, but do you try to get Bennet off the team? Do you worry about the influence Marty B has on the team?

Bennett is going to be a 3rd year veteran this year and is known to do the silly things he does. Are you worried about him, Bob? Are you worried Marty B needs to be out of this locker room?

Why are you frightened of this rookie but, yet, invite a similar knucklehead on your radio show weekly and laugh him off as just a silly guy?

The supposed "risks" are so overblown my the national media (and parroted by 1310 The Ticket without scrutiny).

Dez Bryant is an amazing capitalization of opportunity by the Cowboys.

Doctor Jones said...

Even if Roy becomes what he hoped for, Miles Austin stays period. The guy is one of the few unselfish (in the good way) star wide receivers in the game (think Larry Fitz). Miles has heart and being an undrafted he won't spoil like the T.O.'s of the world.