It hasn’t quite been the season that Cowboys’ star wide out Dez Bryant has hoped for. Entering the 2017 campaign, Bryant looked primed and ready to breakout with his new quarterback. Midway through the season, the results have been mixed at best. Now, injuries further complicate an already topsy-turvy season.
When the team switched to Dak Prescott at quarterback last season, there was somewhat of an understanding that Bryant would scale back a bit since the offense was more run-oriented, but still there seems to be a lack of production on his part. The problem could lay with Prescott and his struggles to throw down field or that the two just need more time to gel together in practice. Yet, one reason that has some fans worried is the fact that Dez might have just lost a step.
Back in 2015, Bryant was coming off one of his most successful seasons with the Cowboys, securing an All-Pro selection and breaking multiple team records. Things turned south fast as Bryant was hurt during the first game of the 2015 season. It was the start to an awful season. Though he returned in 2016 healthy, Bryant wasn’t really the same anymore. He wasn’t getting open as much as he used to and struggled to make plays down the field. Then he missed three more games to injuries.
His below average play over the past two seasons has fans debating whether or not he is still an elite receiver in the NFL. Was it the injuries that robbed Dez of his play-making abilities? Or are fans blowing this out of the water? Bryant does currently leads the team in receptions at 38 and is tied for the team lead in touchdowns at five with Cole Beasley. He might not be the same player he was, but is fitting in nicely with this offense so far.
It seems that it is the injuries that have zapped the big-play potential out of Dez and now must accept that he isn’t one of the elite receivers in the game anymore. But, being a really good one is still a reason to keep him around. If he stays healthy, his career can still flourish. Get another big injury and then you start to wonder if he will start to decline.
Things don’t get better as he deals with more knee injuries and ankle issues from Sunday’s Kansas City game. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, but Bryant insists he is playing this week.
“Yall know I am playing Sunday,” Bryant said. “It’s not going keep me from being out there on the field.”
Though this week would be ample time to allow players to rest, it doesn’t look like Dez is going to do that this time. A few more injuries and you might just find yourself out of the top ten of playmaking wideouts.
Rest up Dez.
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