Looking back on 2015 so far, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones can’t help but wonder if the team could have avoided the Dez Bryant injury if Bryant had spent all offseason with the team like normal.
“You’ve got to say, ‘Could we have figured out a better way to do Dez Bryant to where he doesn’t miss all of the practice through the offseason into training camp?’” Jones said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas.
Of course, Bryant sat out of the offseason program after being offered the franchise tender, in hopes of landing a new, long-term deal. He got one on the day of the deadline, July 15, but was then limited through training camp and broke his foot in Week 1.
Since returning against the Seahawks on November 1, Bryant has 18 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns, while never really looking like his old, dominant self.
“Could there have been a better way?” Jones said. “I don’t know the answer to that. Contract disputes are contract disputes. But at the end of the day when you don’t practice and you’re in a skill position, then I think you suffer. I think it’s hard to be consistently good. You think about Dez, he missed the whole offseason, then missed most of camp and then gets hurt in the first game and misses the next six weeks. Obviously he’s not able to perform at the level that we’ve been used to with him. If he makes a few catches that he normal makes that could’ve been a couple more [wins] and in our division that would be a lot right now.”