The 2018 NFL season is underway, and Dez Bryant still has not signed with a new team following his release by the Dallas Cowboys this offseason.
There have been many questions about whether the ‘Boys will be able to find success in the passing game this season without Bryant and Jason Witten, who retired. One person who thinks Dak Prescott will thrive without No. 88 on the field is former NFL coach Rex Ryan, who now works as an analyst for ESPN.
Sunday morning, Ryan laid out a solid argument for why Prescott will do better this year without Bryant than he did with him last year. Per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Ryan said he thought the Cowboys forced the ball to Bryant in 2017.
“Dez Bryant is a great player, but sometimes I think it kinda hampered them a little bit because it put more pressure on Dak, that ‘I got to get the ball to Dez Bryant.’ Now he can just let it rip … I think Dak is gonna be better because it’s almost addition through subtraction,” Ryan said.
This perspective might not be off base.
Obviously the Cowboys felt it was time to move on, and they completely revamped their receiving corps this offseason. And while preseason games often don’t really tell us anything about what we should expect once games matter, it’s worth pointing out that Prescott was razor sharp throwing the ball this summer.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this trend continues during the regular season. It’s also going to be fascinating to see if Bryant does land on a new squad at some point, and if he can make a big impact.