As reality sets in for the Dallas Cowboys that their franchise leader in touchdown receptions is no longer part of their team, Dez Bryant's departure has shed light on some other potential harsh realities for America's Team.
In his “exit interview” with NFL Network's Jane Slater, Bryant was an open as always – this time about how his final days with the Cowboys went down around the organization.
Dez Bryant to @SlaterNFL: "This situation was very unfair to me." Added that former teammates he called "Garrett guys" worked against him. "I truly believe that. I want them to know that I know. I'll shoot them a text message and let them know."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 13, 2018
The sticking point from Bryant's interview concerns the head coach that has stuck with the Cowboys (as a full-time HC) since 2011 in Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have shown an incredible level of commitment towards Garrett, who has rewarded them with seasons like 2014 and 2016 – winning the NFC East thanks to a core of players that should certainly be considered “Jason Garrett guys”.
Near the top of this list of players is Dez Bryant, who now serves as the latest Cowboys example of how quickly rosters can turn over in the NFL. Ideally, the Cowboys are looking to build a roster full of players that want to fight for Jason Garrett – a coach that has seen many franchise players who carried him early in his career depart under his tenure.
There is no doubt that Garrett is truly on the proverbial hot seat for this 2018 season. On the heels of a 9-7 campaign, the Cowboys likely need to return to the playoffs to see Garrett continue leading this team. To do so, it feels like they'll be relying on less “Garrett guys” than ever, but is this really the case?
No one person inside The Star made the decision this late in April to move on from Dez Bryant. This move was agreed upon by a majority of high-ranking Cowboys voices, at least some of which had soured completely on Bryant's overall impact on the team.
Dak Prescott on not having a say in Dez Bryant's release: “I'm in my second year so as much as you want to say, I want a say and this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me and that's what those guys are there to do. That's not my decision.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 15, 2018
As we sit here on another Sunday without Cowboys football though, the Cowboys are not a better football team than they were at any point with Dez Bryant on their roster. The Cowboys are seemingly distancing themselves from Jason Garrett (as they possibly should be prior to the 2018 NFL Draft) under the facade that this team is built to be his.
If “Garrett guys” such as Quarterback Dak Prescott – firmly cemented as this team's starting QB for the foreseeable future – were able to have a say in Dez Bryant departing Dallas, than we are truly looking at a new era of Cowboys football.
A new era led by much of the same, which is why the Cowboys will continue to be viewed in the same light around the league. In all honesty, this is a team that will likely fall short with Jason Garrett as their Head Coach once again in 2018. Dez Bryant may even score a touchdown against the Cowboys to make matters worse.
The Cowboys ran out of scapegoats for mediocrity a while ago, recycling their ineptitude by branding it under their career 67-53 head coach. A coach that owes a significant portion of his success to Dez Bryant.
Surely, the Cowboys outlook for the future can brighten up following this month's draft. Similarly to last year's approach at cornerback, the Cowboys are confident in their ability to find talent in this year's class of wide receivers.
Adding up to ten new players in the draft only proves further that the Cowboys are a team in transition, for better or worse.
Dez Bryant's supporters can weigh in on which way the team that's now betrayed #88 is trending.