Hate to say I toldja so, but …
While Cowboys fans worked themselves into a frothing frenzy early this week and sat needlessly nervous on the edge of their seats Wednesday afternoon, some of us who have been watching Jerry Jones conduct business for 25 years just shrugged and smiled and waited for the inevitable.
If nothing else, the Cowboys owner gets what he wants. And, more times than not, he gets it how and when he wants it.
So while you breathed a huge sigh of relief at the deadline-nipping, long-term signing of Dez Bryant yesterday, I was never, ever, never worried that it would get done. Several panicked fans questioned “Why is Jerry waiting?!” The answer, as I wrote on Monday, was a deadline.
Jerry was so confident that this deal would get done that he vacationed in Italy over the Fourth of July, then came back and dawdled until Monday. Truth be told, he probably got a chuckle out of Bryant’s Twitter-issued threat to sit out training camp and games. Yeah, right. As if a player that made $11.8 million his whole career was going to actually turn his back on earning $12.8 million in one season.
The Cowboys were smart enough, however, to know that an unhappy Dez would cast a cloud over camp and perhaps the season. It was always best to sign a long-term deal, but by waiting they maximized their leverage.
Bryant didn’t get the length of security nor the money (he got $14 million per season, short of Calvin Johnson’s $16 million) he originally desired. But he’s a Cowboy-for-life, and he’s guaranteed $45 million even though neither you nor I will be surprised if his off-field hiccups aren’t over.
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It was a good day for the Cowboys. A great day for Bryant. And an inevitable day for all involved.
Jerry flew to New York when it was time. Jerry inched up his offer just before the deadline. And Jerry proved again that, despite the nervous, skeptical, critical fans, the Cowboys remain his team on his terms.
At least now you can stop screaming “Pay the Man!,” because the Man = Paid.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.