DEZ-perate For Answers

The lyrics are "Where do we go from here now that all the children are grown up?" In the Cowboys' family, the question is certainly legit and critical, but in the case of #88, the child is FAR from grown up. So, just where do the Cowboys go from here? The off and pre-season proclamations, coupled with the supposed-to-be maturing act of marriage, had many, if not most all, proclaiming, "It's a new and improved Dez Bryant." All it did in this court was cause the eyebrows to raise and have the right foot desperately seeking the brake, and not just to tap them, but to apply them in a full-force, snap your tibia and fibula, blow out all your CL's fashion! Mature? As in wine and cheese? Or whine and cheeze-whiz, when are you going to grow up, Kid?

Cowboys Nation, take a good look at your new Eldorado Owens. Yes, the one and only, of T.O. nature.

Younger version, more problems, especially off-the-field issues. Different number, same diva, disruptive behavior. Skilled unlike many, but an exact replica of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (actually HIDE). Smart, street-wise only. Reliability, dependability and accountability all below Mendoza and Mason-Dixon lines. This risk-laden "KID" could not be more fence-straddled or fulcrum-pivotal, and in each case, wobbling is at an all-time high. The only question yet to be answered...."On which side will he ultimately fall?" To borrow exact words from a previous submission, too talented to be this bad, and way too young to be this good. There may be no bigger "potential" super star in The League, but well-needed balance and common sense allude him as readily as health. He can't seem to stay astute in either arena, physically or mentally. While it's way too early to throw in the towel or give up on the Cowboys' 2010 1st round draft choice, it's high-time to start actively assessing and addressing his deficiencies. Unfortunately, there are many.

Two things are not in question here, and those are upbringing and talent. Both are well-documented and don't need to be revisited in this space, and while each plays heavily into the overall equation, only mental capacity, maturity and trust are of concern at this point, and in each corner there are SERIOUS voids. I've been searching high and low for Dez's sideline explosion and rant during the most-recent New England game, but even You Tube seems devoid of the tirade. If you have Sunday's game TiVO'd or recorded, go back and check it out. What's most telling of the exploits is the facial expressions of all teammates in near proximity of "the rant." Yes, it has "lunatic" connotations. Brass will pass it off as competitiveness, and while that might be a small contributor, it's so much more than that. Dez is incendiary and combustible, and these two traits and elements are ingredients for Meltdown City. It's not a matter of "what" but "when?" When one feels they are not "above" the law but actually "are" the law, bad things tend to happen. Very bad things.

The Cowboys can say and paint it any way they want, but the canvass portrays a definitive lack of playbook knowledge and precision intricacies of the wide receiver game. Pure talent supersedes all in Bryant's portfolio, but it will never promote longevity and staying power. In subtle and not totally (at this point) engulfed fashion, the shortcomings are absolutely killing the Cowboys' offensive potential. What Dez lacks in playing smarts is directly attributable to lack of risk-tolerance and point production. You cannot trust those who do not know. When it comes to being where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, Dez not only isn't on the same page, he's not in the same zip code.

To admit such would be organizational disaster and admission failure, and while no one calling the shots is going to say anything close to these accusations, the truth hurts. Sometimes disappearances aren't as mysterious or confusing as they seem. It's not that the Cowboys don't know where he is in crunch time, it's that he doesn't know where he is or is supposed to be when it matters most. While the Troy Aikman/Michael Irvin combination was both lethal and reliable, it was the Aikman to Novacek connection that combined all the elements of subliminal coexistence. Romo can deliver it, but Dez's inability to reciprocate is the equivalent of appendage absence. And unfortunately for Dallas, it's not an arm or leg missing from the body of work, it's the object that sits on top and in the middle of the shoulders. Without it, someone is going

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