By Archie Nino III
The first "fightin' words" of the season were sent off by Washington Redskins CB Josh Norman. In his soliloquy he refers to Dez Bryant as "just a guy" and even went after Odell Beckham portraying him as a brat living up to an "image." Needless to say the war of words has started in the ultra - competitive NFC East. This blog is going to be revisited in a parts series throughout the upcoming season detailing the pending battles between two alphas #88 vs #24.
Firstly, let's look at Dez Bryant career stats, in his 8 seasons he has amassed 462 rec for 6,621yds and 67 tds. The product from Oklahoma State was welcomed when Dallas drafted him in the 2010 draft. In his rookie campaign he accumulated 45 rec, 561 yds and 6 tds. Dez Bryant, synonymous with "Throwing Up The X", had 3 absolute stellar seasons. Between 2012 and 2014 current #88 had totals of 273 rec 3,935 yds and 41 tds. The last two seasons have been major slumps across the board in numbers for Dez, in 2015 after a season shortening injury Dez Bryant tallied up 31 rec, 401 yds and 3 tds in 9 games. 2016 wasn't much either as another injury limited him to only 13 games played gathering 50 rec, 796 yds with 8 tds. He's had great numbers but the last few seasons has shown that his age, attrition and health are becoming alarming...could Josh Norman actually be right by labeling Dez Bryant as "just a guy"?
While Norman has only played one season in the NFC East he has immediately gone after opposing division receivers. Arguably one of the best at his position and the trash talking ability of Conor McGregor. Josh Norman has been going at Dez since before he came to the division. During a 33-14 Cowboys loss to the Carolina Panthers Josh Norman took the media time during his post game to inform the Cowboys to "get their $70 million back." A clear shot at Bryants most recent contract extension and he had every right to say it as Dez finished with 2 rec for 26 yds. Fast forward to wk 2 last season and we had Dez vs Norman again and the Cowboys won with Dez finishing with 7 rec for 102 yds. Looking at it though Norman blanketed Dez all game, when Josh lined up vs Dez he went catchless missing 2 targets. Furthermore when the 4th qtr started WAS had Norman trail Dez for 13 plays holding him in check. ThursdayNight Football presened us another gift in the saga of #88 vs #24. Another Cowboys win, yet another pedestrian game from Dez as he netted 5 rec for 72 yds. Things took a turn for the worse as both teams had to separate the players from engaging in physical altercation. According to Norman, Dez approached him and said "Where I'm from, we unload the clip."
This battle has only begun and might have already ended. With Dez in the latter portion of his career he will be 29 by seasons end with 30 coming quickly. Recievers don't tend to last well in their 30s. Dez has beat Norman as far as the win-loss column but game tape don't lie. Numbers don't lie. I'm a fan of Mr. Bryant but I'm a bigger fan of the Dallas Cowboys and if its time to start looking for a future #1 wr I'm all for it. This season Dez Bryant, #88 has two chances to prove he can beat Josh Norman, #24 surely Dallas would rather have the W than make sure Dez has 15 rec and 100+yds but Norman said it best "we've played the games already, 0 tds."
Also #CowboysNation and Football fans, me and my cousin @JeremiahJames80 and a few friends will be starting our #RoyalRamble podcast soon and look forward to hearing from #CowboysNation to discuss a bevy of topics all over the sports world. Be on the look out. Til next time #CowboysNation.
The writers here at Cowboys News plan to bring you entertainment, news, and more - all relating to the Dallas Cowboys.