Dez’s 2015 Downfall The Result Of Jerry’s Moment Of Mid-Summer Panic
Less than 24 hours after a 28-7 defeat at Lambeau Field assured Jason Garrett of his first losing season in Dallas, the Cowboys head coach provided a breath of fresh air for all those wearied by the corporate redundancy sucking the life out of Valley Ranch. Jason, for quite possibly the first time this season, came out of his shell at the podium and actually answered one of those predominantly catty questions that come from the minions of the press.
Chalk it up to the frustrations of watching a Cowboys team lose nine of its last eleven games, but one reporter felt compelled to break up the monotony of a Monday press conference out of curiosity of the particular ailment – whether it was physical or mental – that was dragging star wide receiver Dez Bryant through this most lousy of seasons. Garrett’s unexpectedly long-winded answer provided the media with a refreshing sound-bite. What it also did was give a glimpse into why the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl for nearly twenty years.
According to the ESPN statistical department, Dez Bryant has caught only 27 of 63 passes thrown to him this season. On Sunday in Green Bay, Bryant caught just one of five passes directed towards him, dropping three of them. Garrett didn’t blink in explaining why.
“The biggest thing with Dez is he hasn’t laid the foundation that he typically does for a season,” said Garrett, “which is the offseason program, OTA’s, training camp and then practicing leading up to ballgames.
“If you think about how much football he’s played up to this point, it’s not that much. He’s watched a lot of football practices. I’m not making excuses for him, but every player I’ve ever been around plays better when they practice and plays better when they lay a foundation for the season.”
Cowboy fans remember well Bryant’s contract dispute that lasted into the middle of July, resulting in him missing out on off-season workouts and the entirety of mini-camps. After straining a hamstring early in training camp (while dunking the ball over the goal-post), an out-of-shape Bryant broke his foot in Week 1 versus the Giants, forcing him to the sideline for an additional five weeks.
“I give him a great deal of credit for dealing with the injuries he’s had to get himself ready to play in games,” said Garrett, “and he’s had to do that since he’s been back from the foot, and not being able to practice affects his ability to execute.”
Upon finishing his off-the-cuff monologue, an exhausted Garrett duly collapsed in a heap on the podium, leaving a group of high-ranking team officials the tedious chore of picking up the fallen stuffing and sewing him back together. (Due to newly implemented regulations severely restricting the freedom of the press at Valley Ranch, there is no video evidence to support this claim, nor is there mention of it in any of your local news publications. You’ll just have to take my word for it.)
There’s no doubt about it, Garrett’s speech certified the fact of which many had long suspected. Garrett is nothing more than a red-headed head-coaching Puppet, while our local Jerry is still the omnipotent puppet-master of the zaniest football circus that ever an Arkansas hillbilly conceived. The Cowboys are 4-9 as a team, hopeless as an organization, drowning in a murky pool of indifferent philosophy flowing down from the throne of King Jerry.
Garrett was right in acknowledging that Bryant didn’t need any excuses. He already has $70 million of them caressing his wallet.
Bryant has transformed himself from bona-fide All-Pro material in 2014 to fundamentally rotten in 2015. Due to nagging injuries, which were a result of his own poor conditioning in July, Bryant can’t run routes, struggles to get open, and has seemingly forgotten how to catch the ball on the rare occasions when it does come his way.
Michael Irvin would never have arrived to training camp out of shape, for fear of letting down his teammates. Bryant, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind watching games slip through weak fingers, just so long as the media doesn’t seem to notice. Dez is no Playmaker, that much is certain.
But let’s stop all this bashing of Dez. At the end of the day, he is just one in a crowd of over-paid, over-hyped underachievers on this team.
The real villain of this story is the gullible soul who set Bryant up to fail. That would be you, Jerry, right?
Jerry thought it prudent to play hardball with Dez and his agent this spring, foregoing a multi-year contract extension for the one-year franchise tender valued at $12 million. Dez, seeking long-term security, balked and threatened to holdout. Jones dared him to. Dez obliged.
This was rarified air for the Cowboys owner, who had earned a reputation for throwing money around at the bargaining table. Watching Dez hold out from spring practices also seemed strange when considering the day-by-day “process” that Garrett tells his players will increase their chances of winning on autumn Sundays. Dez was noticeably absent from the “process,” a fact which had to be lived with while team management tried to prove a point to their star wideout.
When Jones didn’t budge initially, Dez wanted to continue negotiations and try to hammer out a deal. But nothing worked. Jones stuck to his guns, and the holdout continued.
When the July 15 date neared that would lock Bryant in to the one-year franchise offer sheet, Bryant threatened to sit out for the entire season. With expectations of a Super Bowl trip burdening him down, Jones wilted then and there, forking over an amount that was in the same financial ballpark that Dez had been asking for all along.
By folding his cards at the eleventh hour, Jones rendered the entire off-season as a waste of time, where Dez was concerned. Dez has since made that contract look like a fat wad of wasted money. It’s all helped to add up to what has been a much bigger waste of a season.