The Dallas Cowboys have made it pretty clear that they think, where receiver Dez Bryant is concerned, the good outweighs the bad. No one’s arguing that Bryant doesn’t have a huge upside, of course; his raw talent is staggering. But in 2012, Bryant’s seemingly tenuous grasp on the mental aspect of the game, his penchant for ill-timed mistakes, has overshadowed that upside.
To wit: Bryant was pulled from punt return duty in the loss to the Giants after he muffed a first half kick, before picking it up and fumbling it again--he flirted with disaster on a punt in the win against the Panthers the week before, as well--and was at least partly responsible (at least) for one of Tony Romo’s four interceptions, after he went rogue on his route. And that wasn’t the first time Bryant running the wrong route has led to a turnover in 2012.
Watching last Sunday’s loss to the Giants from the broadcaster’s booth, legendary Cowboys quarterback and Fox analyst Troy Aikman wondered at the leeway given to the third-year receiver by his old team, even going so far as to suggest that Dallas might consider benching him if the miscues persist.
Via FoxSportsSouthwest.com, Aikman said, “I don't know of any player in this league that can do the things that he has done to hurt his football team and stay in the game.”
Jerry Jones, upon being told of Aikman’s remarks in his weekly appearance on 105.3-FM The Fan this week, didn’t have much to say about the suggestion that Bryant could be benched, opting instead to lavish praise upon the Pro Football Hall of Famer who offered up the critique.
"No one that I've been associated with appreciates protecting the ball or practiced or played the game to protect the ball more than Troy Aikman," Jones said. "So I can clearly understand his comment. And Troy, one of the reasons we won, one of the reasons we had the great success is he was able to play the quarterback position, which handles the ball more than anybody, at an amazing positive turnover rate for his team, and yet still have the ability to go out there and throw the ball and make a play. That's why we had that success. I understand his comment.”
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