A year ago, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was in the midst of a months-long contract negotiation. Bryant got the five-year, $70 million contract he wanted, but he struggled through an injury-plagued season that saw him have career lows in catches, yards and touchdowns. Stephen Jones thinks the contract negotiation and the injury are related.
Jones, the Cowboys’ executive vice president, said Bryant is working hard in the offseason program this year, but last year he wasn’t in good shape because he spent so much time away from the facility.
“He’s done an outstanding job and been committed to being around and I think that’s only getting better. That’s what we need of him, is to get well and do his rehab and then get in great shape,” Jones said. “I think one of the tough things about last year for Dez, he plays with such energy, that with the contract dispute, if you will, he wasn’t around, which is business, and consequently he probably wasn’t in his best shape going into the season and then you start to add the injuries when players aren’t in shape and they continued on through training camp and then on into the season and we ended up not having him much last year, so if he can get his rehab done and get himself in top condition, then I think we’ll see the same Dez that we saw two years ago.”
If the Cowboys see the same Dez they saw two years ago, then perhaps they’ll be back in the playoffs, as they were two years ago.