The Dallas Cowboys are said to heavily regret how they handled the contract negotiations with star wide receiver Dez Bryant earlier in the year, reports ESPN. The revelation comes after the franchise suffered through a lot of hardships during a season where they were supposed to contend for the Super Bowl. With the team struggling, Bryant is having one of his worst seasons since joining the NFL. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett are both acknowledging that the big reason why Dez has struggled this season is because of how the handling of his contract extension went down.
When it came time to negotiate a new contract extension, Dez Bryant was not shy about his desires to stay with the Dallas Cowboys for the rest of his career. The only catch was that he wanted to be properly compensated since he was one of the top wide receivers in the NFL now. Jerry Jones definitely wanted Bryant to remain a franchise player for the Cowboys but he was not immediately willing to open up the check book. That caused a very public cat and mouse game to ensue over several months, which frustrated the fan base tremendously.
After months of alienating Dez Bryant, Jerry Jones ironically ended up agreeing to a contract that was pretty close to what the former Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver was looking for. That ended up hurting the team. At the time, they did know just how much of an impact it would have on the season. During his holdout, Bryant missed much of the off season program with the Dallas Cowboys. Dez ended up straining his hamstring before the season and breaking his foot during the second game of the season, going down against the Philadelphia Eagles, a hated NFC East rival.
Dez Bryant has long been an emotional player. Early on in his NFL career, the 6’2″, 220 pound wide receiver had trouble controlling those emotions. However, over the past couple of years, he has improved in that aspect and has grown into a leader for the Dallas Cowboys. This has been quite the rough season for Bryant. Aside from missing five games with the broken foot, Dez also has been frustrated by the collarbone injuries that have robbed the Cowboys of their starting quarterback, Tony Romo. His replacements, Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel, have failed to impress. That has affected Bryant greatly.
Further examples of how emotions have drained Dez Bryant of his effectiveness have been clearly evident on the field. The 27 year old is usually spotted on the sidelines being quite demonstrative with his teammates. Bryant likes to fire up and motivate the Dallas Cowboys by screaming on the sidelines. During the game against the Green Bay Packers, it was the other way around, with teammates yelling at Dez to wake him up. The fact that the usually sure handed Bryant has been dropping passes has also led to speculations that he no longer believes that the Cowboys can win games.
Another season like this current one is something that the Dallas Cowboys will be working all summer to avoid. Jerry Jones will be less likely to be the tough guy when negotiating contracts with players that are building blocks, such as center Travis Frederick and guard Zack Martin, two key pieces to the dominant offensive line. Jones and Jason Garrett are also unlikely to overlook the backup quarterback and starting running back positions. Both spots will be priorities when free agency and the NFL Draft rolls around next spring.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should have just paid Dez Bryant back in March?
[Featured Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]