Dez Bryant didn’t blink, and in the end, he got what he wanted.
Bryant signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cowboys on Wednesday, thus ending the threat of a holdout from one of the NFL’s top receivers.
“Obviously it’s a great deal for Dez,” former Cowboys quarterback Danny White said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It’s $45 million guaranteed instead of 13. That’s enough said right there. But more than that, I think this is a great deal for the Cowboys, and I think Jerry understands that. He’s always been maybe the most loyal owner in the NFL when it comes to his players and the guys that have performed for him in the past, and so this just kind of solidifies that. But I think in terms of the entire offense, without Dez, they’ve got a lot of young receivers. Other than Jason Witten, there’s really nobody that is going to demand double coverage, and what that does for their offense, it makes DeMarco Murray’s absence a little bit more palatable. You got those big hogs upfront, which is the strength of their team, followed very closely now by the defensive front. And now you put just about anybody back there that’s got some decent running skills – whether it’s Lance Dunbar, whoever it is – and they’re going to have some success because it’s going to take two guys to look after Dez. It was the one big missing piece to the offensive puzzle in my opinion for the Dallas Cowboys.”
Indeed, Bryant may be the Cowboys’ best player. While some may view Bryant as too emotional or outspoken, he’s somebody you want on your football team – because he cares.
And Jerry Jones couldn’t risk losing him.
That’s the mentality Jones has taken several times in recent years, going away from splash and more toward substance, focusing on the true guts and inner workings of what makes a football team great.
“I think it’s a little bit of a shift from Jerry to Stephen (Jones) on the business end of things,” White said. “Jerry still obviously calls all the shots and makes all the personnel moves, but he’s listening a lot more to Stephen and to others in the organization – the people that he’s hired in the personnel department. I think he’s doing a lot more listening than he is talking. I think that has led to a little bit of a damper on his emotions. In the past, I think what he’s done – and he still does it – he has almost become a halfway house for NFL players.”
Like last year, when he signed Henry Melton and Rolando McClain.
“I looked at those two singings and said, ‘What is he doing to the locker room?’” White recalled. “Well, Rolando McClain ended up having a pretty good year for them. Henry Melton was a bust, and I thought it would be from the beginning, but he’s still doing things like that. All you have to do is look at what he did with Greg Hardy and then drafting guys like Randy Gregory and (signing) La’el Collins. I can’t believe the rest of the league let him get away with that one, but they did. That was a great, great (move) and a great job of getting him signed. Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy, we’re going to have to wait and see. But I think with Sean Lee, that’s going to add some maturity and some leadership to that defense. I think they’re in good shape, but he’s still doing things like that. It’s just that he’s not doing it at key positions and doing it in areas that are going to have a drastic effect one way or the other. I just think he’s listening a lot more to the people around him.”