Last month, Cowboys veteran tight end and unquestioned team leader Jason Witten stated that he understood the absence of Dez Bryant, who is sitting out this offseason in hopes of getting a new, long-term deal, but that he couldn’t help but miss No. 88 and the energy that he brings in practice.
Head coach Jason Garrett feels much the same.
“Dez has great energy, has great passion. It’s infectious,” Garrett said this week. “He was out on the practice field a little bit on Thursday and did some of the stuff in individual. He’s a special player, a special guy. We love having him around. He’s working through his business part right now but it was good to have him out here.”
There’s no doubt that Garrett would prefer Bryant to be back on the field full-time, and to always be on the field with the team. But as long as he’s not, Garrett is taking the optimist’s view of the situation: For all the things the Cowboys miss with Bryant being away from the team, the receivers behind him on the depth chart stand to benefit.
“It’s really good for everybody when the lead dog isn’t there,” Garrett said. “It’s good for us to evaluate the guys who are behind them in a different role and they step up, if they are a two, they become a one, if they are a three, they become a two, that kind of a thing. It’s good to see that from an evaluation standpoint and see how players respond.”