Dez Bryant‘s NFL took a long and winding path back to his current opportunity with the Baltimore Ravens. Bryant has earned a chance to extend his playing days with the Ravens, which has landed him in the scenario of playing against his former team, Dallas Cowboys. Before Tuesday’s matchup, he sent a clear message to the franchise and team owner Jerry Jones.
Dez Bryant’s NFL return
Following Jerry Jones electing to release Dez Bryant after the 2017 season, the former star wide receiver struggled to get back into the league.
Bryant received a chance to play with the New Orleans Saints in November 2018 but suffered a torn Achilles tendon two days after signing with the team. The devastating injury didn’t damper Bryant’s desire to continue his NFL career with a team regardless of the extent of his role.
The 32-year-old finally got his wish granted after the Ravens signed him initially to their practice squad in late October. Bryant worked his way toward the active roster last month to where he receives consistent playing time.
The situation has also landed him a chance to finally play against the Cowboys for the first time in his career. Before the long-awaited matchup, he has a direct message for Jones and the franchise.
Dez Bryant’s personal message to Jerry Jones
For the first time in his career, Dez Bryant will face the Dallas Cowboys as an opposing player.
Before he takes the field against his former team, Bryant voiced to Jerry Jones his appreciation for the franchise drafting him and allowing him to fulfill his NFL dreams. (H/T Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News)
“I’m thankful that (Jerry) drafted me and gave me the opportunity to play for his franchise. I’m a Texas boy, so I grew up a Cowboys fan. I’m thankful for that, but I’m here now. I’m excited to be a Baltimore Raven. I’m looking forward to going up against those guys.”
There may have been some internal issues along the way during Bryant’s tenure with the Cowboys; it’s where he made his name in the NFL. He became one of the best wide receivers in the league while cementing his status in franchise history behind numerous team records.
Bryant had the strong desire to get an opportunity for a second stint in Dallas, but that didn’t come to fruition. He now has the chance to extend his career with the Ravens.
NFL Future ahead lies in his hands
Dez Bryant has had a challenging path back to the NFL since tearing his Achilles tendon in November 2018 but has now latched onto the Ravens.
Bryant’s production has been minimal at best through three games, with four catches on seven targets for 28 receiving yards. His entire yardage came in the 30-24 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 22.
Since then, he hasn’t been much of a factor in the Ravens passing game as he garnered two targets with no receptions in last Wednesday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. His diminished role could be due to his lack of true chemistry and familiarity with Lamar Jackson. However, he has shown enough to earn an active roster spot and playing time.
The question now becomes whether he can show enough over the rest of the season to secure an opportunity to play next season and potentially beyond. His overall production doesn’t help his case, but there is time to impact the offense significantly.