Dez Bryant has caught more touchdown passes than anyone in the illustrious history of the Dallas Cowboys. He’s only 29 – yet he continues to look for work.
The Cowboys released Bryant this offseason and he has already turned down a three-year contract offer from the Baltimore Ravens. So where does he wind up in 2018? According to last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll, the most likely landing spot for Bryant is the Green Bay Packers.
We gave our listeners and readers six options – Baltimore, Buffalo, Green Bay, Houston, New Orleans and San Francisco – and the Packers were the runaway winner with 27.5 percent of the vote. The 49ers were next at 20.9 percent, followed by the Saints at 18.7 percent and the Texans at 17.6 percent. The Bills and Ravens both finished with single-digit support.
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts, as usual, were split. Ron Borges cast his vote for Buffalo, Rick Gosselin for Baltimore and Clark Judge for Green Bay.
“The Ravens were the first to knock on his door,” Gosselin said. “They showed the most interest in his talents. When all this plays out, I think the Ravens will still be the team most interested in what he brings to the table.”
The Ravens finished 29th in the NFL in passing last season and both of their starting wide receivers are gone. The Bills finished 31st in passing a year ago and will have a new quarterback, either free agent A.J. McCarron or rookie Josh Allen, in 2017.
“It’s Buffalo,” Borges said. “He’s earned being exiled.”
Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and an NFL-leading 16 touchdowns in his contract year in 2014. The Cowboys rewarded him with a five-year, $70 million contract with $45 million of it guaranteed. But in the three seasons since then, Bryant has caught a combined 17 TD passes. He was a league-leader in dropped passes in 2017.
The Packers have Aaron Rodgers and a Super Bowl-contending team. A return to Green Bay by Bryant would, ironically, be a return to the most memorable moment of his career – his diving touchdown reception in the closing minutes of an NFC semifinal playoff game against the Packers in 2014 that was overruled by replay. NFL officials admitted that, under the new catch rule implemented this offseason, Bryant’s touchdown would have counted using the new standard.
“I say Green Bay because I trust Jason Witten,” said Judge, citing the retired Dallas tight end’s prediction for Dez. “He says he thinks it's going to happen, and that's good enough for me. Plus, there's a need there. And that's even better.”
Bryant has caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns in his eight-year career. The Cowboys made him their first-round pick in 2010.