Michael Irvin isn’t normally a big fan of social media, but the former Dallas Cowboys great credits the platform for helping Dez Bryant land his recent long-term contract.
Speaking with G-Bag Nation on KRLD-FM 105.3 the Fan on Monday, Irvin lauded social media as a driving force that facilitated the deal:
“It’s not often I’m going to come in and say ‘Thank you social media.’ But you cannot convince me that that did not have some bearing on getting the deal done because once Dez went out with that, ‘I’m putting this on my kids. I’m going to miss that game.’ — listen guys, y’all know what that means for a brother,” Irvin said, via The Dallas Morning News.
Irvin further elaborated:
“To say, you know, ‘I swear to you on my mama and on my daddy’s grave, I’m putting this on my kids, that just means everything. I believe that definitely had an impact, because if he misses a game or two he’s losing $800,000 a game, he could still come back and sign after that and then even force Jerry to give that money. ‘Jerry, you want me to sign? Put it back on some type of way and I’ll get back on.'”
By letting the world know he was undeniably serious about holding out of games, Bryant put immense pressure on Jerry Jones and the Cowboys brass to give him the long-term, guaranteed-money rich contract he wanted.
Many in the media believed Bryant was bluffing, but it’s clear Jones and his team weren’t buying that theory.
Of course, another aspect that Irvin fails to point out is the way agents and “sources” use social media to their advantage by leaking information that sways public opinion. Every rumor that surfaces during these negotiations has been specifically placed in the public eye for a purpose.
Social media is a tremendous tool, not only for athletes like Bryant, but also for their agents. As we all know, however, the platform can also be a graveyard for players who use poor judgement and paint themselves in a horrible corner with opinions and comments made in poor taste.
For Bryant, however, this time his strategy worked out exactly the way he intended.
Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports