Says Archer regarding the fact that owner Jerry Jones, coach Wade Phillips, and receivers coach Ray Sherman heaped praise on Bryant: “I couldn’t help
but think of Bill Parcells in 2006 when he told all of us to put away the anointing oils on Tony Romo after
the quarterback came out on fire to help the Cowboys get to the
playoffs. The idea wasn’t to squelch Romo’s confidence but to make him
realize he had not arrived yet, to keep him wanting more, to get better.“
Perhaps the Cowboys are opting for positive reinforcement with Bryant, talking him up in the hopes that he won’t let them down. Privately, we’ve heard whispers that the team was concerned by his level of fitness — and by the fact that he would sleep between practices to the point where they had trouble waking him up.
We’re told he also had an excuse for everything that went wrong. When he seemed to be out of shape, he claimed that he didn’t warm up. When he twisted an ankle, he blamed it on the fact that he was wearing new cleats.
As a result, we’re not sure that it makes sense for the team to kiss his ass so publicly, especially since he’s represented by the same agent who tried to blow out the slotting process for Michael Crabtree in 2009. Sure, Bryant looked great at time against other rookies and assorted slapdicks. When the veterans show up, things could be much different. With Jones, Phillips, and Sherman pumping Bryant up, they could in reality be setting him up for a spectacular collapse.
Either way, it’ll be one of the most intriguing aspects of what will be a very intriguing NFL season.