Dez Bryant: Why Dallas Cowboys WR Is the Most Clueless Player in NFL
The game itself was a microcosm of the embattled receiver's Cowboy career. Flashy on the surface, but detrimental at its core.
Beneath Bryant's eight-reception, 105-yard performance were three costly drops and a mis-run route that led to a Charles Tillman pick-six (more on that later).
The Cowboys' talented third-year veteran should be taking his game to the next level, but alas, he remains intent on looking like a rookie week after week.
Want another word for that description?
It's no secret that Dez Bryant's football career has been marked with character questions. The Cowboys got him late in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft largely because other teams were concerned what a factor his behavior issues might become.
Then, in his second season in the league, it was ignorant actions like this (as detailed by ESPN.com's Stephen A. Smith) which proved to the Cowboys and the rest of the globe that Dez wasn't ready for the NFL just yet.
But he would mature by year three, right?
2. The Dez Rules
Year three showed that Dez wasn't getting any better. In fact, at a point where Cowboys fans thought he couldn't get much worse, reports came out that Bryant was involved in the unthinkable.
As reported by ESPN.com's Tim McMahon, Dez Bryant was accused of allegedly assaulting his mother. The recorded phone call that came out with the incident was chilling, and it was clear that Bryant needed some help.
Say hello to the "Dez Rules."
Stephen Hawkins from the Associated Press details this team-imposed set of rules against Bryant. He has a curfew. He has to be driven to practice, games and team functions. No alcohol. No strip clubs. Heck, he even has a personal security team assigned to him.
Dez Bryant is 23 years old.
Most 23-year-olds are responsible enough to be trusted with something simple like driving privileges, but then again, we are talking about the most clueless player in the NFL.
3. On-the-Field Liability
So we know Dez Bryant truly lives out his clueless reputation off the field, but his on-the-field talent makes it all worth it, right?
Not so fast.
You see, Bryant's been a solid NFL wide receiver over his first three NFL seasons. Solid, but not elite. Solid receivers aren't worth headaches.
Take plays like this one against the New York Jets last season. First thing to note is that Tony Romo made a poor throw. That's obvious. But what some overlook is what Dez Bryant did on the play.
If you just thought "I didn't see him do anything," you'd be absolutely correct. He ran an incredibly poor route, turned around, saw the ball was badly thrown and then let Darrelle Revis have an easy interception.
It was like he didn't even care.
Sure, during the game he had been dealing with some tight hamstrings. But to become a spectator when the game is on the line? That's inexcusable.
At the very least, he could have made an attempt to come back on the ball, finish his route or even just interfere with Revis when he tried to catch it. Show your quarterback that you have some heart, right?
But you'd have to have a clue to do something like that.
4. Still Learning Routes
But come 2012, the New York Jets debacle was going to become something of the past, right? After all, 2011 was only Bryant's second year in the league, his hamstrings were legitimately hurting and Romo made an awful throw.
The hope was there until Bryant's most recent debacle against the Chicago Bears (you can watch the play above).
Here's how ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins describes the play:
Before the play, Romo and Bryant looked at each other to acknowledge Tillman was making a change in the coverage. If Tillman pressed Bryant, he was supposed to run a go route. If Tillman played back, Bryant was supposed to run a stop route.
Tillman pressed for a split second, and immediately dropped back as the ball snapped. With a blitz coming, Romo threw the ball for a stop route. Naturally, Dez ran the go.