When the Dallas Cowboys released Dez Bryant, the original thought was he'd have a pretty sizable market for his services. According to reports, however, there doesn't seem to be a market for Dez Bryant at this point.
Both Bleacher Report, and ProFootballTalk.com are reporting a general lack of interest in Dez Bryant by NFL teams, regardless of the money.
Dez Bryant has been testing the market for three weeks now, and it appears that most teams just aren't interested in him, at any price https://t.co/pHZby33UHW
There are several reasons why Dez Bryant's market is as small as a watering hole in the Texas Summer.
Timing of the Dez Bryant Release
First, the timing of his release was definitely not conducive to Dez Bryant getting in on the big money players like Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, and Allen Robinson received in free agency.
Bryant was released nearly six weeks after the start of the free agency period. That definitely hurt his ability to find a team. Not only had teams spent their money, but they began gearing up for the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Dallas Cowboys said it took time to convince Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones that releasing Dez Bryant was the right thing to do.
Whether that's true or not, it left Bryant out in the free agency cold.
Deep Wide Receiver Draft
In the 2018 NFL Draft, there were 34 wide receivers drafted in the 256 picks made this year. Linebacker was the only position that had more selections made during the draft (39). It was always viewed as a deep wide receiver draft. Ten players went in the first three rounds of the draft, which are the premium rounds for teams.
The San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, teams that were rumored to have interest in Dez Bryant, each drafted a wide receiver with a pick in the first three rounds. The Baltimore Ravens, the other team with interest in Bryant, took one in the fourth round.
As teams get into their mini-camps and OTAs, snaps are at a premium. Teams want to see what the guys on their roster have before bringing in another veteran receiver.
Dez Bryant Over-Inflated his Value
When Dez Bryant left, he targeted the NFC East as a landing spot, just so he could play the Cowboys twice in 2018. Like the rest of the NFL, there hasn't been a ton of interest in Bryant from Cowboys rivals.
The Baltimore Ravens were one of the first to be linked to Dez Bryant and they reportedly offered him a three-year deal worth $21-million dollars. Bryant turned down the offer hoping to sign a one year deal with a bigger guaranteed number to prove himself worthy of a long-term deal.
@AdamSchefter says on ESPN the Ravens were willing to pay Dez Bryant about $7 million per year, and Schefter can't find any other teams willing to pay him anywhere near that amount. Says NFC East teams are not interested -- at least for now. @NBCDFW
Adam Schefter from ESPN reported on NFL Live that far more teams are unwilling to pay Dez Bryant the league minimum than teams that are.
Adam Schefter on Free agent WR Dez Bryant remains unsigned | NFL Live
The New Orleans Saints were rumored to have interest in Bryant as well, but that hasn't led to any sort of offer. Not even much of a rumored pursuit.
The "at least for now" part of Pat Doney's tweet above is an important factor to consider regarding Dez Bryant's market. While team's may not have much interest at the moment, there is a lot of time left between now and week one of the NFL Season.
Dez Bryant's Production
While it's easy to point the finger at others, other teams, and the timing of the release, it may not be as complicated as we're making it out to be.
Will McClay explained to Drew Davison on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio (also of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram), on-field production had just as much to do with Dez Bryant's release as money was. The production didn't match the payment.
“It was a collective deal. The (inability) to win one-on-one, to win down field. There was inconsistency as well as some huge things in his play. So what’s best moving forward for Dez Bryant and the Cowboys, we just made that decision. It’s a production-based business.”
Will McClay on ESPN Radio 103.3 Dallas-Fort Worth
McClay later attempted to clarify those statements with 105.3 The Fan, but it's obvious that the team didn't feel the production Dez Bryant provided was worth the price to have Dez on the Cowboys' roster.
Dez Bryant's Personality
Dez Bryant's personality has long been a debated topic in Cowboys Nation. Many fans feel that the sideline tantrums and tirades are a distraction to the team. However, when players and coaches are asked about it, they talk about the passion and fire that Dez brings as a positive.
Tony Romo, speaking at his US Open qualifier, recently came to Bryant's aide.
"One thing, I don't know how many teams will do their homework on it, but Dez is a good teammate and I think sometimes that might get lost in the way that the emotional aspect of things. If I was talking to any of the GMs or coaches, I would tell them he's not going to hurt the locker room in any possible way. He's going to come out and he'll be a great teammate when he gets there. I think he'll have a couple of options here soon."
But that's not all of the story.
When Dez Bryant was released, he took it very personally and went on a Twitter storm to call people out about how things went down and let people know his displeasure with the way it happened.
Public criticism doesn't sit well with head coaches and front offices in any sport, but especially the NFL. Cowboys Nation weren't the only ones to see Dez Bryant's reaction to being released, and it wouldn't surprise me if that has had something to do with Bryant's free agent market being dried up.
If the reports are true, that teams aren't interested in the Pro Bowl wide receiver at the league minimum is a scathing indictment of Dez Bryant's reputation around the league.
Whether it's because his play dropped off or because of the personality that Bryant brings to the table, which is part of what made him great, teams aren't seeing the benefit of bringing Bryant into their locker room at the moment.
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Now, he will sign with someone, but it's looking like teams aren't backing up dump trucks of money to Dez Bryant's front door. For whatever reason, it's looking like Dez Bryant is going to have to convince a team to sign him. No one saw that coming when Bryant was released.
For everything that Dez Bryant has brought to the table over the years, this drama will be the one that defines the twilight of his career.
Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next
Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.
The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.
However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.
As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.
Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.
The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.
The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.
The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.
Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.
If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.
Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.
Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.
Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.
I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.
In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.
Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.
Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.
In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.
If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.
If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.
What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?
A Look Around The NFC East: Week 2
The usually competitive NFC East got off to a shaky start last week, with half the division winning their season opener and the other half falling short.
Now entering week 2, the Eagles and Redskins have a chance to begin to distance themselves from the loser of the Cowboys/Giants game, and both of those 0-1 teams are looking to "save" their season. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but a home loss within the division to fall to 0-2 could be debilitating for the Dallas Cowboys moving forward.
Regardless, let's go around the division and see what each team has on tap for this Sunday.
The defending champs opened up their 2018 campaign just as we expected: with a home victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta sort of gave that game away last Thursday night, but if the Eagles can stack Nick Foles-led wins on top of each other they'll put themselves in a great spot to win the East when Carson Wentz returns.
The Eagles will be on the road this week for the first time, traveling to Tampa Bay to play the 1-0 Buccaneers. The Bucs pulled the upset of the weekend last week, defeating New Orleans 48-40. It's hard to imagine that "Fitzmagic" continuing against the vaunted Eagles defense, though.
Philly is a three point road favorite against Tampa Bay this Sunday.
My "sleeper" team in the NFC East, and pick to finish second in the division, looked rather impressive in their week one drubbing of the Arizona Cardinals. Of course, Arizona isn't a very good team, and will probably be picking top 5 in the draft next April. Still, it was a good showing for the Redskins to open the season.
Washington got Adrian Peterson going on the ground for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown, and Chris Thompson helped keep them on schedule offensively as well. Washington hasn't been talked about much this offseason, but is sitting at 1-0 with a game against the 0-1 Colts on the horizon.
Washington is a 6 point favorite against Indianapolis this Sunday, and has a good chance of starting 2-0 on the year.
New York Giants
Though we are just one week into the 2018 regular season, an important matchup is brewing within the NFC East. After falling to 0-1 with a home loss in their season opener, the Giants will travel to Texas to face the Cowboys on Sunday night football this week.
With both teams sitting at 0-1, neither can afford to put themselves into a nearly-insurmountable hole with a second straight loss. Since the merger 90% of teams who fall to 0-2 fail to make the playoffs, and it would be back-to-back seasons of missing out for both the Cowboys and Giants.
New York is a three point road underdog on Sunday, and it seems like most of the football world is leaning towards them and their weapons coming away with the victory.
Either way, this game will have massive implications on the 2018 season.
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