Dez Bryant has joined the exclusive list of Dallas Cowboys‘ receivers who are entertaining with both their natural athletic ability, as well as their natural ability to rub fans the wrong way.
Michael Irvin. Terrell Owens. Dez Bryant. Three of the most polarizing players in Cowboys’ history. All three possessed insane natural athletic talents that set them at the top of their positions during their respective times in the league. Even though each of these receivers provided their own unique type of distraction, one thing remains true: people tend to tolerate them better when they are winning football games.
Whether people like to admit it, winning cures almost anything.
While winning may temporarily allow people to turn a blind eye to a player’s outbursts, eventually, when the distractions start to outweigh the results on the field, fans get fed up. Coaches get fed up.
Irvin got it together. But he helped build one of the most-storied dynasties in sports. Even with all of Irvin’s legal troubles, people remember him most for being a winner.
Owens, on the other hand, never quite got through his issues. From doing sit-ups outside of his mansion to the infamous”that’s my quarterback” speech, T.O. was never able to lead the Cowboys to the promise land in the same way Irvin did. Bryant can look at these two players and determine his own legacy. He can either be the hot-head receiver that never quite figured it out or he can move past this and evolve into the type of player his ability suggests that he can be.
Bryant has come a long ways from his days as a Oklahoma State Cowboy where he was suspended for his final season or when the Cowboys were forced to give Bryant a mandatory curfew. How strictly this curfew was enforced is something that we will all have to speculate and wonder until the end of time, though. Like Owens and Irvin, Bryant is the best receiver on the Cowboys’ roster and at times he has proven that he is indeed worth the headache that he may occasionally bring to the Boys.
Early this season, Bryant took his frustration out on a Gatorade cooler after hurting his ankle against the New York Giants. The only difference was at the time, a win against the Giants looked a lot more impressive then that what it looks like now, and they won. So, of course, after Bryant goes off during the waning seconds of the game against the Detroit Lions, it’s a much bigger deal. At that point, the Cowboys were on the brink of either a 5-3 record or sliding back down to 4-4.
Bryant’s passion for the game is something that should be commended. His passion for the game is what leads him to leave it all on the field each and every Sunday. It’s the reason why he has 641 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on the year already. It will be the reason why he ends up at another Pro Bowl. And if the Cowboys want to get back on track, they will need some of that fire Bryant brings to the game.