Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant Arrest Won't Devastate Offense
The 911 call his mother Angela Bryant made on Monday, as reported by the Star-Telegram, asserted that her son tried to kill her.
Whether this turns out to be hyperbole remains to be seen, but the former first-round pick out of Oklahoma State looks to be facing a suspension regardless.
While this may appear to be a devastating blow to the Cowboys' offense right off the bat, the organization's offseason moves may suggest less of an emphasis on the passing game moving forward.
Breakout wideout Laurent Robinson bolted in free agency for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and given the tumultuous nature of Bryant's career to date, he may find his way out the door, too.
After all, owner Jerry Jones hasn't been afraid to cut talented but troublesome receivers.
Just ask Terrell Owens.
The Cowboys have a viable, explosive duo of running backs in Felix Jones and another surprising contributor from last season in DeMarco Murray, who ran for nearly 900 yards in just seven starts.
Considering all the pressure and grief quarterback Tony Romo takes on a yearly basis, it may be wise to have him hand the ball off a few more times per game.
The fact that Romo's most talented receiver in Bryant may not be on the team anymore also doesn't help matters.
With the acquisition of fullback Lawrence Vickers, the running game should be the foundation of the Cowboys offense.
ESPNDallas' Dan Graziano voiced this concern about the weakness of the Cowboys running game: an inability to find the endzone.
Murray had only two touchdowns last season despite impressive numbers, and Jones had only one.
Vickers, a seven-year veteran, has proven himself to be one of the best yet most undervalued players at his position in the NFL.
In his second season, Vickers sprung the aging Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis to a resurgent year in 2007, as he ran for over 1,300 yards.
Lewis also ran for 1,000 yards the following year.
Although the Browns had no 1,000-yard rushers in 2009, Vickers did contribute to a record performance by Jerome Harrison, who ran for 286 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs.
NFL.com's highlight package for that game is well worth watching. Vickers (47) absolutely blows his man up on every Harrison run.
With the arrival of Peyton Hillis, a former seventh-round draft pick, Vickers was back at it again.
Vickers was the enforcer in what was a breakout year for Hillis. The punishing, versatile back who ran for over 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010.
The Browns then cut Vickers in favor of fourth-round pick Owen Marecic. Thereafter, as Graziano points out, the Browns had the fewest rushing touchdowns in the league.
Notice a trend?
Meanwhile, Vickers filled the void left by Vonta Leach for the Houston Texans this past season.
Not much happened, except that Vickers helped Arian Foster run for 1,224 yards, and second-year player Ben Tate ran for nearly 1,000.
Despite lacking a decent passing game in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Foster managed to run for 132 yards against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens defense with the help of Vickers.
With that type of track record, it's incredible that the Texans became the second team in as many years to let Vickers go when they released him back in March.
Unless the multiple draft selections seriously plug up the Philadelphia Eagles' defense, the Cowboys will be facing a slew of mediocre rush defenses within the NFC East division this coming season.
Romo can still lean on No. 1 receiver Miles Austin and his security blanket in tight end Jason Witten, who has been one of the most consistently great receiving tight ends for years.
However, the ability for the offense to get that tough yard in goal line situations will be greatly enhanced by the presence of Vickers.
A more balanced attack should translate to the first playoff appearance for the Cowboys since 2009—with or without Bryant.
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