Dez Bryant is one of the most fierce, productive receivers in the NFL. He savagely attacks the ball. He’s relentless in fighting for extra yards. And only Jerry Rice and Randy Moss had more than his 56 touchdown catches through their first five seasons.
As expected, the Cowboys put the franchise tag on their star receiver. Meaning he’ll be a Cowboy in 2015 – unless a team is willing to make him a lucrative long-term offer, and also give the Cowboys two 1st-round draft picks should they decide not to match it.
If I’m a team like, say, the Patriots or Seahawks, I might consider giving up two picks for Dez’s dominance. Neither has a stud No. 1 receiver, and their picks in 2016 and 2017 will likely be at the end of the round and, therefore, diluted.
Surely no team with decent picks and multiple holes to fill would part with a chunk of their future to improve their medicore present. Which what makes what the Cowboys did in 2000 all that more ridiculous.
Dallas was 8-8 in 1999 under Chan Gailey and lost a playoff game at Minnesota. After losing a playoff game at home the season before to the Cardinals, there was the feeling that the dynasty that had won three Super Bowls in four years was slipping away. In ’99 receiver Michael Irvin suffered a career-ending injury and stars Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith were noticeably slowing down.
Owner Jerry Jones was desperate for one last run with his future Hall of Famers. So seeking an infusion of youth and speed and hoping to provide Aikman with a legit No. 1 receiver, he traded away two 1st-round draft choices to the Seahawks for Joey Galloway.
At the time – through five seasons – Galloway had caught only 37 touchdowns and in ’99 had missed half the season with injuries.
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In his first game with the Cowboys he tore his ACL late in a lopsided loss to the Eagles. After the season Aikman retired and head coach Dave Campo endured three consecutive 5-11 seasons before being fired. With the picks from Dallas, Seattle drafted running back Shaun Alexander and receiver Koren Robinson. With Alexander leading the NFL in rushing and Robinson as their main receiving target, the Seahawks made five consecutive playoff appearances and went to the Super Bowl in 2005.
As good as Dez Bryant is, NFL teams also remember the cautionary tale of Joey Galloway.
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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.