Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A dose of reality about dealing Dez Bryant
By Tim MacMahon
The made-for-sports-radio discussion of possibly trading Dez Bryant for a high first-round pick is a moot point for a pair of reasons.
First of all, while a front-office source told ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins that he “would think about it,” the owner and general manager wouldn’t sign off on such a deal. Jerry Jones just isn’t going to give up Bryant after a roller-coaster rookie season.
Would another team be willing to trade a top 10 draft pick for Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant considering all the red flags that existed before last year's draft?
The owner/GM is beyond infatuated with the talent of Bryant, who might consume more of Jerry’s time than any player who has ever come through Valley Ranch. Jerry, who personally made the decision to anoint the kid with the No. 88, also loves the marketing bang Bryant provides.
Jersey sales shouldn’t influence a GM’s thinking, but this is Jerry we’re talking about here. He’s also more than justified to want to develop Dez after seeing several glimpses of the spectacular from the athletic freak this season.
Second of all, there’s an NFL rule that often goes overlooked during these types of discussions: Both teams have to agree to a trade. I don’t believe the Cowboys could get an offer of a top-10 pick for Bryant.
After all, this is a guy who dropped to the No. 24 pick last season due to concerns about his immaturity and ability to be professional. Nothing that happened while the Cowboys babysat him for the last nine months eased those concerns.
Never mind Bryant’s highly publicized refusal to carry Roy Williams’ shoulder pads or the drama from the $55,000 dinner. Many teams took Bryant off their board because they worried about whether he would show up to meetings on time, pay attention and learn the playbook. He’s had problems with all of those things with the Cowboys.
Plus, there are legitimate durability concerns with Bryant now. He missed all of the preseason with a high ankle sprain and the last month of the season with a broken ankle. He missed many practices with a variety of ailments.
Every team in the NFL knew Bryant had the potential to be a superstar when he entered the draft. But most teams decided he wasn’t worth the risk. Eight touchdowns won’t change the minds of teams at the top end of the draft.
For better or worse, Bryant will report to work at Valley Ranch for a long time. Just hope that he’s on time.