Articles – ESPN


Have the Cowboys soured on Dez Bryant?
Matt Mosely

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton was never shy about speaking his mind. And last week, the Chargers receiver popped on “The Ben & Skin Show” on to 103.3 ESPN Radio to talk about a variety of topics, including the work of rookie Dez Bryant.


“They let him get away with a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff,” Crayton said of Bryant. “Hopefully whoever they bring in as receivers coach, and they say [Jason] Garrett is a disciplinarian, won’t let him get away with so much stuff. He’ll get locked down and hopefully be the next Michael Irvin.”

Crayton’s not a fan of Garrett’s, as you might have gathered from that little jab. But it’s interesting what he said about Bryant, who was reportedly late to several meetings during the season and didn’t exactly commit the playbook to memory. Former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus, who now works for 103.3, recently wondered aloud (on the air) whether Dallas might listen to trade offers for Bryant.‘s Calvin Watkins posed that question to someone in the Cowboys’ front office.

“I would think about it,” said the source.

I think Bryant has way too much upside for the Cowboys to think about trading him, but it’s interesting that someone at Valley Ranch is at least open to the possibility. Even if a team offered a top-15 draft pick for Bryant, are we convinced the Cowboys would turn two first-round picks into gold?

One look at this defense shows you how the Cowboys haven’t exactly owned the first round of the draft. Cornerback Mike Jenkins is coming off an awful season, defensive end Marcus Spears is probably headed out the door via free agency and outside linebacker Anthony Spencer disappeared in 2010. On the other side of the ball, Felix Jones has not emerged as one of the top backs from his first-round class.

We’ve always known Bryant was a top-10 talent who slid in the draft because of character concerns, so let’s not act like it’s a huge surprise that he’s not the first guy to arrive at every meeting. Garrett sent wide receivers coach Ray Sherman packing, in part, because he gained a reputation for coddling some of his more outspoken players. Now that Garrett’s in charge, it’s incumbent on him to make sure that Bryant continues to mature as a player and person.

It’s not like this offense has enough firepower to consider trading a playmaker of Bryant’s caliber.

Buddy Ryan’s impact on Cowboys’ defense

Matt Mosley – ESPN

I would imagine that Dallas Cowboys fans had to enjoy the way Rex Ryan’s Jets defense performed against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday. Rex’s twin brother, Rob, will now take over as defensive coordinator for the Cowboys, and he has a very similar philosophy.

But everything you see from the Ryan boys can be traced to their father Buddy’s famous “46” defense, which he drew up on a whim while with the Chicago Bears in the late 1970s. I ran across an excerpt from Tim Layden’s excellent book, “Blood, Sweat and Chalk” today, and it talks about how Buddy taught Rex and Rob the 46 defense when he wasn’t able to talk them out of following him into the coaching profession.

Rex and Rob have added their own touches to the defense, but it’s obvious they’ve leaned heavily on their father’s creative genius. You’ll hear a lot more from Rex and Buddy in this excerpt, but Rob gets right to the point with the following quote:

“The more you hit the quarterback,” Rob says, “the better you’re going to do.”

And that certainly was the case Sunday when Jets defenders frustrated and confused the great Brady. I don’t think Rob will be quite as quotable as his twin brother and father, but he’ll still bring a lot of energy and passion to the Cowboys’ defense.

So what will Buddy Ryan think about one of his boys helping out the team he once loathed? Well, as long as Jimmy Johnson doesn’t show up on the scene, I think he’ll find a way to deal with it.

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