The Dallas Cowboys had one of the best offenses in 2016 and are set to continue their upward climb to league domination next season. However, with an injury prone Dez Bryant, can the Cowboys add another ring to their jewelry box?
During the 2015 season, Bryant suffered injuries that caused him to miss seven games in which the Cowboys went 1-6. Last season, Bryant missed three games due to a hairline fracture and a toe injury.
These injuries forced the 29-year-old to stay on the sidelines and miss crucial time on the field. However, the impact Bryant makes once he returns to the field is incalculable. Upon returning from those 2016 injuries, Bryant gained more than 100 yards in two of his first three games.
During the injury-plagued seasons of 2015 and 2016, Bryant totaled 11 touchdowns and 1,197 yards. When he was healthy in 2013 and 2014, Bryant totaled 29 touchdowns and 2,553 yards.
The Cowboys need Bryant to stay healthy to record those kinds of numbers if they want to make a return to the number one NFC seed. Bryant also needs to be on the field to relieve some of the pressure off of the young Ezekiel Elliot.
Bryant had been Tony Romo’s go-to receiver over the past seven seasons. Now, with the departure of Romo and the official overhaul of the Dallas offense by Dak Prescott, how does Bryant continue to impact this team?
If Bryant stays healthy, he will have more opportunities to practice and strengthen the bond between him and Prescott. Romo and Bryant had major success in Dallas as a duo, and if Bryant can stay on the field long enough to ‘break in’ his new quarterback, there could be no stopping them.
With the No. 28 pick in this years’ draft, there’s no question that the Cowboys must pick up defensive players. Last season, the team was ranked 26th in pass yards allowed and 14th in total yards allowed. With the departure of defensive stars like Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, and Brandon Carr, Dallas is in need of ‘fresh meat’. However, if concerns over Bryant’s health grows, taking a young receiver like Curtis Samuel or Chris Godwin and having him shadow Bryant for a season or two could be used as a safety net, and maybe even produce a new Dallas star.
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