Have the Cowboys soured on Dez Bryant?

January, 18, 2011
1/18/11
11:15
AM ET
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton was never shy about speaking his mind. And last week, the Chargers receiver popped on "The Ben & Skin Show" on to 103.3 ESPN Radio to talk about a variety of topics, including the work of rookie Dez Bryant.

Bryant
Bryant
"They let him get away with a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff," Crayton said of Bryant. "Hopefully whoever they bring in as receivers coach, and they say [Jason] Garrett is a disciplinarian, won't let him get away with so much stuff. He'll get locked down and hopefully be the next Michael Irvin."

Crayton's not a fan of Garrett's, as you might have gathered from that little jab. But it's interesting what he said about Bryant, who was reportedly late to several meetings during the season and didn't exactly commit the playbook to memory. Former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus, who now works for 103.3, recently wondered aloud (on the air) whether Dallas might listen to trade offers for Bryant. ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins posed that question to someone in the Cowboys' front office.

"I would think about it," said the source.

I think Bryant has way too much upside for the Cowboys to think about trading him, but it's interesting that someone at Valley Ranch is at least open to the possibility. Even if a team offered a top-15 draft pick for Bryant, are we convinced the Cowboys would turn two first-round picks into gold?

One look at this defense shows you how the Cowboys haven't exactly owned the first round of the draft. Cornerback Mike Jenkins is coming off an awful season, defensive end Marcus Spears is probably headed out the door via free agency and outside linebacker Anthony Spencer disappeared in 2010. On the other side of the ball, Felix Jones has not emerged as one of the top backs from his first-round class.

We've always known Bryant was a top-10 talent who slid in the draft because of character concerns, so let's not act like it's a huge surprise that he's not the first guy to arrive at every meeting. Garrett sent wide receivers coach Ray Sherman packing, in part, because he gained a reputation for coddling some of his more outspoken players. Now that Garrett's in charge, it's incumbent on him to make sure that Bryant continues to mature as a player and person.

It's not like this offense has enough firepower to consider trading a playmaker of Bryant's caliber.

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