I’m going to start this out by saying I am a huge Dez Bryant fan. There isn't one aspect of his game that I dislike or think he should change and I've felt that way since he arrived in 2010.
However, Dez has been talking about his contract as of late, and he thinks he should be paid as one of the top wide receivers in the game. Look at what he’s done on the field; he's put up some huge numbers and has more receiving touchdowns in the last two seasons than anybody else in the league.
No brainer right? Resign the man. Make him a Cowboy for life.
Well, I’m not so sure about that just yet, and hear me out before some of you stop following me on Twitter (and for those that aren't ---> @bleatherman2011).
Get That Man A New Contract:
The man is a beast; I could stop right there and not give any more reasons why Jerry Jones should redo his contract today and that'd be that. Dez brings something to this offense that many other teams would love to have -the ability to make a defense change their scheme just because of what he can do on the field.
He demands double teams. If a defense doesn't double team Dez Bryant, he’ll make them pay, dearly. We've seen it countless times.
Dez has put up 293 catches with over 90 passes in each of the last two seasons, 40 touchdowns and over 4,100 yards in his four years since coming into the league; and that’s with missing five games during his first two seasons. Oh, let’s not forget that he also had two kickoffs returned for touchdowns and four punt returns for touchdowns as well. Not too shabby.
The man has the heart of a lion. Nobody hates to lose on that team more than Dez Bryant. We've seen him on the sidelines trying to get his team pumped up, even though the good ole Dallas media tried to portray him as another T.O. . Yes, there’re times where he can go overboard; however, that’s who Dez is. If someone tries to take that away from him, you might as well go ahead and cut the man from your team. He wouldn't be able to play if he weren't able to play with that emotion and passion.
He’s what you want as teammate; someone you know will give you his all every single game and you can count on him having your back.
What's The Problem:
Dez has had back issues and I think some people are either not wanting to acknowledge it, or they're just pretending it never happened. There’s an issue there folks. It doesn't matter if you want to admit it.
During the season finale in 2012 against the Redskins he had to be removed from the game and collapsed in the locker room. He was later taken to the team bus in a wheelchair. The reason was because his back tightened up so bad that he couldn't walk.
Last season we started hearing rumors of his back giving him trouble again after the Chiefs game - he said he was good to go and continued to play. Then the Saints game; the back trouble rumor started arising again. The last week of the season, heading into the season finale, Dez was said to have tweaked his back during practice. However, he played again and he said there wasn't an issue.
Folks, there’s an issue there! It may not have reared its ugly head just yet, but there’s something there.
I’m not going to mention any off-the-field stuff because frankly, there isn't anything to mention. Dez has done a tremendous job growing as player and, more importantly, as a person.
Dez wants to be paid like one of the top receivers in the league, and really, he has every right to want that in my opinion. He’s put in the work and put up the numbers.
If indeed he is paid like one of the best receivers in the game, that could total out close to $13 million a year, and it figures to go 5 or 6 years to dish out between $65 to $78 million dollars.
Now also try to remember the salary cap problems this team has had over the last few years and how hard they've worked to try to get out of “cap hell.” If signed to that contract, after doing some costly maneuvering this off-season, you’re just taking a step backward.
Something else to consider; there's a plethora of good wide receivers coming into the league every year that can give you 1,000 yards and and a handful of touchdowns, and won’t cost anywhere near what Bryant wants. That money can be used toward the defensive side of the ball where the team needs the most help.
Tell me this about Bryant's upcoming contract; has your stance on the subject changed? Think about it for a few seconds, leave me a response in the comments section and let the debate begin.
Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?
It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.
These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.
Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.
Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.
This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.
Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.
The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.
It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.
Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.
As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.
For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.
From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.
Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.
Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.
They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.
Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.
According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million
This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.
Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.
This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.
Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.
There is risk on both sides, of course.
Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.
Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.
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