— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) July 13, 2015
Earlier this week Cowboys All Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant tweeted that pending a long term deal, he would not suit up for any regular season games. It was only another 48 hours until Dez and the Cowboys were signing on the dotted line. Dez Bryant landed a five year deal that is going to end up worth over $70 million dollars by the end of the contract — $32 million of it fully guaranteed. So, great. Dez is coming back to the Cowboys. What does this do the most scrutinized team in the NFL?
In short, the resigning of Dez Bryant keeps Dallas on the level. Dez, who turns 27 this coming November, is coming into his sixth season in the NFL. Thus far the 6’2 wide out has shown the ability to be a consistent #1 threat on offense, routinely leaping over defenders and bullying his way into the end zone. Last season Dez had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 TDS — huge numbers in one of QB Tony Romo’s best years.
However, bringing Dez back also cost the Dallas Cowboys another All Pro: DeMarco Murray. The Dallas Cowboys picked up Murray in the 3rd round in 2011 and waited years for the running back to assume the leading man role. He finally did last year, rushing for almost 1,900 yards with 13 scores. Now Murray is a rival, wanting more than what Dallas could offer. In his place the Cowboys are attempting to run out a hodgepodge of veteran journeyman backs: Darren McFadden, Ryan Williams, and finally team favorite Joseph Randle. To say that this is a downgrade would be an under statement.
So the Cowboy receiving corps retained its best weapon and in exchange lost one of the most brutal, powerful backs in the NFL. Tony Romo is another year older and coming off of the best year of his NFL career — posting a 113 QB rating with 3,700 yards and a 34TD/9INT ratio. Dallas will be pinning their Division title hopes on Romo repeating, or coming close to those statistics, and the 12 year veteran will have a tough time in doing so.
As a result Dallas finds themselves in an unenviable position. The Cowboys have a ton of money committed to Bryant and Romo, the most between any QB/WR in NFL history, and they are facing one of the tougher divisions in the NFL. Not bad enough to tank and not quite good enough to make a Super Bowl run, the Cowboys are once again in NFL purgatory.