Around this time last year, I published an article detailing why the Cowboys should have signed Reggie Bush in the offseason. Well, my thoughts haven’t really changed. Here’s why Bush would be a valuable asset to Dallas.
4. He may not cost anything (other than money, of course).
Bush is due $10.5 million this season in New Orleans. There’s no way he’ll be receiving that much money, so if he doesn’t take a pay cut, he’ll take a play cut. <—See what I did there?
Bush has said he wants to remain a Saint, but who knows how his contract restructuring will turn out? If the Saints are forced to release Bush, the Cowboys won’t need to surrender a draft pick to acquire him.
Plus, it isn’t like Bush is going to break the bank. I do think NFL teams realize his value to a team more so than the average fan, but with the current labor situation and Bush’s lack of production during his career thus far, he could be had for cheap. Bush’s stock is lower than ever, meaning now is the time to “buy.”
3. He opens up big play opportunities for other players.
Bush never puts up jaw-dropping numbers, but that’s because defenses key in on him so much, forcing the ball to go elsewhere (yes, NFL coaches game plan for Bush, not Lance Moore or Devery Henderson).
His presence in the Dallas backfield would undoubtedly create running lanes for the other backs (if they are on the field together) and open up passing lanes over the middle of the field.
2. He can play the slot.
When I argued the Cowboys should sign Bush last season, those against the idea (which was almost all of you) claimed there simply wasn’t enough room in the Dallas backfield, especially for another runner looking to bounce outside.
The biggest reason the Cowboys’ current running back situation is irrelevant to the potential signing of Bush is that he isn’t really a running back. He’s an athlete who can be utilized at tailback, wide receiver and, most importantly for Dallas, in the slot.
One of the largest weaknesses of Jason Garrett’s offense is the lack of a Wes Welker-type slot receiver. You may have noticed Garrett’s version of the spread offense features a lot of short throws (and not just because Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee were at quarterback this season), but the Cowboys don’t really possess the personnel for that to consistently work. Miles Austin is pretty quick for a wide receiver and excellent after the catch, but he’s no Reggie Bush. Dez Bryant and Roy Williams are both downfield threats as well, not players who can effectively run the smash, jerk and angle routes at which Bush excels (and with which the Cowboys could improve their third down conversion rate).
1. He’s a dominating returner.
All of this is awesome, but the primary reason Bush would fit in well in Dallas is his return ability. Bush has a proven track record in the role of “game-breaker.” Who remembers this Monday-nighter two seasons ago when Bush’s return abilities completely changed the landscape of the contest?
Bryan McCann is a nice option on returns. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah has potential. The Cowboys don’t need "nice" though. They don’t need potential. They need a game-breaker, and with Dez Bryant’s offensive prowess too great to justify using him on returns, the answer is the player who has consistently been labeled a “bust” since entering the league.
Bring this bust to Dallas, and let him bust a few long touchdowns for a team in desperate need of a game-changing returner.