Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys and controversy are a constant pair even in good times

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is a good fit regardless of who is at quarterback.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is a good fit regardless of who is at quarterback. rmallison@star-telegram.com

On this election day, one thing is never more true: there is no such thing as life with the Dallas Cowboys without a controversy.

And if there isn’t one, someone will certainly invent one.

Never mind that the Cowboys are 7-1 at the midpoint of the season, tied for the best record in the NFL and the betting favorite to reach the Super Bowl out of the NFC for the first time since 1995, the last of their three Super Bowls titles of the 1990s _ controversy is always riding shotgun in Big D.

That is certainly the case with the impending quarterback decision between rookie Dak Prescott and injured incumbent Tony Romo. Owner Jerry Jones simply needs to refrain from discussing it. The more he talks, the more confusing he becomes.

But what should not be an issue that is being made into one is the so-called lack of production from receiver Dez Bryant.

Bryant is tied for fourth on the team with 16 catches for 282 yards an two touchdowns.

There are people in the media who are openly wondering if Bryant would rather have Romo at quarterback because of his supposedly lack of chemistry with Prescott.

But of course that’s more about people’s perception of Bryant being an emotional, me-first player than one who is passionate about wining most of all.

That’s not Bryant and has never been Bryant, which is why the Cowboys have been willing to put up with his personal foibles and mistakes, such as his well-chronicled tardiness.

“Dez is a fantastic person. He’s passionate about football and he’s passionate about this team,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a great team guy, so it’s never been about, “Hey, I’ve got to get my catches’ That’s not what he’s all about.

“Anybody who thinks that’s what Dez Bryant is all about has no idea about who this guy is. He loves this football team. He works very hard to be his best for this football team. When he gets his chances, he does everything he can to take advantage of them.”

Certainly, the completion percentage of targets for Bryant is way down this season compared to past years. He has caught only 16 of 41 passes thrown his way from Prescott. That 39 percent is far below the 64.2 percent catch rate he had with Romo on 137 targets in 2014.

But that’s more about the time he missed in camp with injuries, the knee injury that caused him to miss three games and the attention he draws from opposing defenses _ creating wide-open opportunities for receiver Cole Beasley, tight end Jason Witten, etc.

The bottom line is Bryant’s supposed lack of production has not been a setback for a Cowboys offense that is third in the league in yards, seventh in scoring and seemingly getting better, stronger and more diverse every week.

None of that is lost on Bryant, who not only has been Prescott’s biggest supporter in the locker room, but is genuinely excited about finally getting some help in this explosive offense.

“What do you call it when you have more than two threats? We got triple threats,” Bryant said. “What do you call it when you got more than four threats? Turbo threats? What’s so good about our offense is that regardless of what the defense does, we can adjust to anything. It can be anybody’s day to have a big game.”

Bryant truly believes the Cowboys can reach the Super Bowl this year with Prescott at quarterback and that’s most important to him.

"At the end of the day we are chasing something,” Bryant said with a smile. “It's not a one-man show.”

Not anymore.

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