As we begin to move away from the events of last weekend, it's time to take a quick look at some of the happenings around Valley Ranch this week.
- At the top of everyone's list (football wise atleast) is the status of Dez Bryant going forward. All indications are that the breakout WR will give it a go this week against one of the most physical teams in football, the Pittsburgh Steelers. In our opinion, the team put him in a no-win situation on this one. All reports, including Jerry Jones himself, said the decision would be fully left up to Dez whether or not he'll play with the injury. Of course Dez was going to say yes; has anything he's ever done given any indication otherwise? Bryant is the most passionate football player on the Cowboys, so there's no way he was going to hold himself out. If he did, the fans may never forgive him (until he caught his 1st TD pass of 2013).
Is this the end for Jay Ratliff in a Cowboys uniform? (Photo by Scott Cunningham / Getty)
If Bryant re-injures that finger, it could be devastating not only for this season, but for the franchise going forward. Bryant is maturing into one of the premier WR's in this league, and life-long stiffness in his left index finger would be a tough obstacle to overcome. The team should've made the decision on this one either way, not let a passionate kid who's past judgment has not always been up to par make this type of decision. That being said, we're glad to have you Dez. If he can resemble the player he's been the past five weeks against a banged-up Steelers secondary, he could be in for another big day.
- The other big news of note has been the reported post-game spat between Jay Ratliff and Jerry Jones. Jones reportedly told Ratliff "we really need you out there", even before the loss of Josh Brent made DT an even more pressing need. Ratliff, who Darren Woodson referred to as "an emotional creature", didn't take well to this statement and blew up on Jerry. Yikes.
If Ratliff's future in Dallas wasn't in doubt before, it sure is now. Jones has been known to be the type of guy to hold a grudge and could remember this when it's time to give Ratliff a 7 figure bonus. Fact is, Ratliff hasn't really earned it. His production has steadily declined since he signed his most recent contract extension of 5 years and $40 million. It'll cost Dallas $6 million in cap space to cut him ($3 mill over the next 2 years), but that's less than the $10.5 million required to keep him. Unfortunately, the backup that made him even more expendable (Josh Brent) is out of the picture. It'll be up to players like Sean Lissemore, Ben Bass, Tyrone Crawford, and others to make sure the potential/impending loss of Ratliff won't hurt too much.
- In other roster moves, the Cowboys have waived CB Vince Agnew and signed former NYG CB Michael Coe. Dallas has also moved Josh Brent to the non-football injury list to make room for a veteran DT yet to be named.
- One final thing: wouldn't it be great to kick the Steeler's asses? QB Ben Roethlisberger came out today and said, in reference to the Cowboys being 'America's Team', that the Steelers must be "the World's team". Shut up Ben. It's not because of you that people love and respect the Steelers. It's because of what they stand for, how they consistently represent the 'working man' and their city. There's no doubt that Steeler football is a tried and true brand of football that works and win championships. Big Ben does not fit into that persona. From all reports, he's a diva. A show off. A selfish player. And I hope we see his spoiled butt get slammed to the Dallas turf this Sunday, time and time again. That is all.
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