Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys need an edgy Dez Bryant, not a serene Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant needs to regain his edge during games.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant needs to regain his edge during games. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is at finally peace.

And that’s great for the man. That’s great for the soul.

But what’s great for the Dallas Cowboys is Bryant bordering the line between aggression and animalism.

Michael Irvin once walked in the peaceful Cowboys locker room after his career and offered the opinion that they weren’t going to win because they didn’t have any dogs.

As much as the dynasty teams of the 1990s were about talent, precision and coaching, they were also about hungry players, who played with an edge every time they touched the field.

That was Irvin. That was most definitely Charles Haley.

Bryant has represented much of that for the Cowboys during his career, sometimes to his detriment.

He was accused of being emotional and out of control all while being a beast of a player on the field that refused to be stopped.

Bryant has gotten older. He has matured. He has learned his mistakes. And he is now at peace.

He can’t, however, lose his edge.

He certainly didn’t have it last Sunday in the 10-7 loss to the New York Giants.

Bryant had nine passes thrown his way. Three of them resulted in turnovers.

He slipped on a route, causing an interception. A bad decision by the quarterback on a post route led to another interception when Bryant was knocked off his route. And his only catch of the game ended with a fumble.

It’s December. It’s the stretch run. The Cowboys are trying to put the finishing touches on a season that they hope ends with a Super Bowl title.

They need their big-time players to show up and be accounted for in big games.

The Cowboys can do Bryant a favor by getting him the ball earlier in the games. Use Bryant on a reverse. Throw a wide receiver screen to Bryant.

No one is better run after the catch than Bryant. Find ways to get the ball in his hands and get him engaged.

This is not about forcing the ball to a covered Bryant. This is about getting your game-breaker involved.

They also need Bryant to force the issue. Force the tempo and demand the ball like he used to.

Be peaceful off the field and with the media please.

Let the dog come out on Sunday.

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