From 88 to 88, Michael Irvin predicted the Cowboys would finish 8-8 without Dez Bryant, adding to the pressure of his holdout threats. And finally, on Wednesday, the deadline to reach a long term extension, the Cowboys reached a new five year deal with Bryant. The deal included $45 million in guarantees, with a yearly average of $14 million.
The Cowboys did not just lock up one of the best receivers in the game; they secured the flame that is their fire. And to the casual fan, that may seem a bit far-fetched, as Dez Bryant is most well known as the talented but self-centered diva that makes it known when he scores.
The way he plays sets the tone. He looks for contact, and every time he touches the ball he believes he can score. But it really starts with what kind of guy Bryant is. Plenty of receivers put up better combine stats than Bryant, he’s not 6’ 5’’ and cannot run a 4.3 forty, not to say he isn’t talented, but his greatness cannot be attributed to generational athleticism.
As for the self-centered diva part, there are plenty in the media that would suggest he is. Brian Billick, former Super Bowl winning coach and Fox analyst, called Dez Bryant a ‘spoiled child’ in regards to his passionate rally cries to his teammates, while he watched his team choke away another crucial game. Billick assumed Bryant was selfishly begging for the ball, when in fact he was doing nothing of the sort.
Mike Florio, the creator and owner of Profootballtalk, perpetuated a significant rumor about a video involving Bryant striking a woman. Of course, nothing came from it, except another idea in people’s head’s that Bryant cannot possibly a good guy. These are the parts of Bryant’s life that makes it so easy to believe why he thinks he can score on every play. With all that’s happened, from not having a father, a steady home, a mother who was in and out of prison, Bryant couldn’t possibly believe anything or anyone can stop him at this point. At 20 years old, he was asked, by a team’s executives at the combine, if his mother was a prostitute. He was taken off the majority of draft boards, labeled as ‘undraftable,’ one scout said Bryant ‘had one of the worst background’s he’s ever seen’. So again, when he’s throwing up the X, he’s doing much more than calling attention to himself. He’s letting Brian Billick, Mike Florio, the teams that passed on him, and his troubles in his past, that nothing can stop him and nothing will. Just ask all the DBs in the league.
His nothing and no one can stop attitude has translated straight to the Cowboys. Best shown in their win in Seattle, that highlighted a 12-4 season that ended in heartbreaking fashion. That heartbreaking fashion was none other than Bryant trying to reach for the end zone. He’s never going to stop believing and he won’t ever have to, he’s the best receiver in the game and from 88 to 88, the glue that keeps the Cowboys’ Super Bowl hopes alive. Throw up the X.