How does the NCAA’s ruling impact Dez Bryant, as well as the Cowboys, going forward?
Columnist Berry TramelWho would have thought that Dez Bryant needed OSU football more than OSU football needs Dez Bryant? But that’s the result after the NCAA effectively ended Dez’s career. Mike Gundy has been saying that Dez has been lost since he was declared ineligible, and now he’s going to feel empty as well. Dez will move on to the NFL Draft with a hollow feeling about his college days. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have flourished without Dez, finding a variety of other receivers, primarily Hubert Anyiam. OSU most certainly could use Dez down the stretch, particularly Saturday against Texas. But the Cowboys won’t miss Dez as much as Dez misses the Cowboys.
Columnist John RohdeDez Bryant’s suspension unfortunately affects the Cowboys much more than it affects Bryant, which makes Bryant’s selfish sin even worse. Bryant will still be a first-round NFL pick next April. He can still wow the scouts at combine camp and also during pro day in Stillwater. Meanwhile, the Cowboys officially have lost their top two home run hitters in Bryant and running back Kendall Hunter, who likely won’t return this season and won’t be at full strength if he does. OSU has survived nicely without Bryant and Hunter so far, but against very weak competition. Other receivers have played admirably, but no one is near Bryant’s ilk. The good news is quarterback Zac Robinson is playing great, but his time might soon run out. The pressure has intensified immeasurably for the OSU offense, starting Saturday against Texas.
OSU beat writer Brandon ChatmonDez is gone off to the NFL, as he should be. He was an NFL talent playing college football anyway. So it’s time to get paid to do what he loves. As far as OSU, the past four weeks have shown that OSU can survive without Dez, but it’s silly to think they’re better off without him. The big test comes this weekend against Texas. When playing an elite team, it is normally your NFL-caliber players who make the game changing plays that help you win. OSU just lost one of its.
OSU beat writer John HelsleyThe initial impact on Dez is devastating. We’ve heard how football is so central in his life, something to build around, which kept him pressing on in school and other areas. Now it’s been taken away, with a rather harsh penalty by the NCAA. Yes, Dez lied. Still, there was no violation behind it — as far as we know — which should have called for some leniency. There is some amount of hope with the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, which is said to have a heart, something lacking in the NCAA governing body. If denied again, don’t expect Bryant back in a Cowboys uniform. He’s projected as a high NFL Draft pick and will certainly make the jump. As for the Cowboys, they proceed as they have the past few weeks. The good news is several young receivers have emerged as playmakers, although none with the skills of Bryant — yet. Still, there’s a lot to like with Hubert Anyiam, Tracy Moore, Dameron Fooks, Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper.
Columnist Jenni CarlsonDez Bryant has been struggling these past few weeks. By all accounts, the Oklahoma State receiver’s mood has been depressed. No doubt he brought this punishment on himself by lying to the NCAA, but it became cruel and unusual when the NCAA refused to tell anyone anything about Bryant’s case. Now, he knows the score. It is unfortunate that this is the final chapter of a brilliant OSU career, but at least Bryant and the Cowboys can now move on. He can focus on the next phase of his career, which is likely to be in the NFL, and the Cowboys can focus on the rest of their season with Bryant. Would both have been better off had they finished the season with each other? Absolutely, but dealing with the uncertainty was almost more difficult than coping with the finality.