Dropping the Ball on Dez Bryant

Michael Chambers, Reporter

531 catches, 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns. These are stats for NFL star Dez Bryant, who  was recently released from the Dallas Cowboys. While these stats are impressive, there has been a major decline in his production over the last three years.

In the 2014 season,  Bryant amassed 88 catches for 1,320 yards and a league high 16 touchdowns, but Bryant has suffered multiple injuries and has seen decline in his play and a production rating drop of up to 70 percent. In his most recent season, which Bryant appeared in all  16 games, Bryant had 69 catches for 838 yards and 6 touchdowns. Many people are happy to see Dez out of a Cowboys uniform, but others feel he was a key factor to winning a championship and part of the team’s history.

Junior Peyton Farrington thinks the Cowboys made the right move to release Bryant.

“Dez is too in it for the money. His selfishness affects the team too much during games and can screw up the team’s chemistry,” he said.

While Dez is still considered one of the long throw threats in the NFL, that may not be a top priority for the Cowboys. Over the last seven years, the Cowboys have drafted star running back Ezekiel Elliott and three offensive linemen in the first round of the NFL draft, establishing themselves as one of the most dominant run-heavy teams in the league, many regarding their line as “The Best in the World.”

From 2015-2017, Dallas ranked fifth in rushing attempts and second in rushing yards, while being second to last in passing attempts and 26th in passing yards, according to ESPN. With Dez Bryant set to be the third highest paid player in the league for 2018, the Cowboys didn’t see it necessary to have an expensive player for that position.

Sophomore Eian Jennings feels the Cowboys made the wrong decision by letting Bryant go.

“Dez still has a lot in the tank,” Jennings said. “He’s a workhorse. He can jump up and catch any ball you throw to him. He’s still a legit receiver.”

Many feel Dez has lost his ability to beat one on one coverage, as his route running abilities are limited.  According to ProFootballFocus, Bryant led the NFL in drops last season, but to his credit about 47 percent of them were catchable.

Sophomore Alex Garcia is confident in the Cowboys decision to move on from Bryant.

“Dez cares too much about himself. You can see it in games when he gets upset and starts yelling at coaches about not getting the ball enough. It is a poison to the team and locker room,” Garcia said. “He is a professional. He is on national television acting the way he does. That isn’t what I would want on my team.”