Dez Bryant caught most of the headlines this summer for the Dallas Cowboys. After his controversial catch that was overturned in the playoffs, the Cowboys hit him with the franchise tag. With Bryant clearly being considered a higher priority, star running back DeMarco Murray left Dallas for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Four months later, Dez and Jerry Jones worked out a contract extension to keep Bryant in Dallas for the next five years. With sky-high expectations this season, injuries quickly ravaged Dallas’ Super Bowl hopes. Bryant broke his foot in the first game of the season, and just returned last week against Seattle. Shut down by Richard Sherman for much of the game, Dez should have a much easier time this week against the Eagles in Murray’s first game back in Dallas.
Dez Bryant elevated himself to superstar status way before his rookie contract expired. His passion and toughness emerged in his first season when he was still feeling out how NFL defenses would attempt to stop him. Once he got the hang of running circles around opposing cornerbacks instead of the law, he became an unstoppable force. By re-signing with the Cowboys, Bryant displayed the type of loyalty that owner Jerry Jones looks for.
On Sunday night, Bryant will try to get his game back on track against a defense that hasn’t been stellar in 2015. Chip Kelly has molded the entire team to fit his scheme, but his overbearing control of personnel hasn’t panned out quite yet. The defense is still a work in progress, and is certainly exploitable.
Matt Cassel is not Tony Romo, and Philadelphia is well aware of that. But even with Cassel’s limited skill-set, the Cowboys will be focused on getting the ball to their best play-maker. It seems like an ideal opportunity for Dez to go off, unless he simply feels sorry for the Eagles defense and stops trying.
If Tony Romo were healthy, this would be a casual win for Dallas. Unfortunately, he can’t return for at least a couple more weeks. Even if he isn’t that good, Cassel must know a thing or two about football since he’s made it this far. His game plan should be simple – get the ball into Bryant’s hands as much as possible.
If the Cowboys don’t feed their All-Pro wide receiver, they will face a fate very similar to their last five games… a loss.
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