The Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East in 2016 and entered the playoffs as the top seed, but two of their regular-season losses came against the New York Giants, and Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant was held in check in both games.
Over the weekend, Bryant responded to an old quote from Jenkins about the receiver's performance against the Giants, and promised to "embarrass" Jenkins this coming season. The Cowboys will face the Giants in their season opener at home.
On Monday's episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless broke down the brewing feud between Jenkins and Bryant.
Dez Bryant to Janoris Jenkins: I will embarrass him
Janoris Jenkins responds
Janoris Jenkins clearly won this battle in 2016
“I just want to make sure I’m correct here. The Giants and the Cowboys played twice. What was the Giants’ record against the Cowboys last year? 2-0.
How many catches did Dez Bryant have? He had two catches for 18 yards - and a fumble.
How can you say [Jenkins] didn’t win?
Here’s the thing, Skip. Look, everybody knows if ‘I beat you, it’s a team game.’ Now all of a sudden, you play good [it’s] ‘oh, I tore you up.’ That’s the school of thought that Dez and a lot of people preside up under.”
Brad PennerBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
No team is playing man coverage the entire game
“The fact of the matter is really it’s a one-on-one battle every time. They call it an island. And when you go outside those numbers [that] a lot of times a cornerback is taking you, it’s not necessarily always man coverage.
First of all, and this is what I want the fans at home [to know], no team plays zero coverage. And what I mean by zero coverage is there’s nobody in the middle of the field - there’s not a center-field safety, they’re not playing Cover 2, they’re not playing Cover 1, Cover 3, single-high safety. None of that. The middle of the field is empty.
Nobody is playing that coverage unless it’s late in the ballgame, we’re trying to get the ball back. And then you hear them say ‘zero coverage with bomb blitz.’ That means they’re bringing everybody.”
Bruce KluckhohnBruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Janoris Jenkins is stating the facts
“Dez Bryant had a rough year, and he failed - often - to live up to that five-year, $70 million deal with $45 million guaranteed. And he had the knee issue that cost him three games early on.
But I have no problem with what Jackrabbit said publicly about Dez Bryant, because he just pretty much laid it right on the table. And I don’t think he laid it on thick, it was just the facts.
He said if you take away the slant on Dez, if you take away the dig route on Dez, and then if they put him in the slot youtake away the post corner - that’s about all [Dez has], that’s his repertoire. So you take that away, and we know Dez isn’t the biggest blazer in the NFL, so he’s going to do it with strength more than route-running.”
USA TODAY SportsRobert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Dez wants to prove he can beat Jenkins one-on-one
“Now Dez countered that ‘you should take me one-on-one the whole game,’ because Dez is contending that much of the game they’re in Cover 5, so he has some safety help.
I don’t know if that’s true or not -- I can’t tell just watching off TV -- but it looked to me like Janoris was in solo-man on him a whole lot of the time.”
Steve MitchellSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants won't give Dez that chance
“The thing is that you disguise it. You play some Cover 1, you play some 22-man, you play Cover 6, you play Quarters. If you give these quarterbacks - even the most marginal of quarterbacks - if you give them a steady diet of one coverage, they will pick you apart.
What separates the really good from the great is that in the process of a defense giving you all these looks, they can pick you apart instantaneously. That’s what makes Tom Brady who he is. And the Rodgers, and the Brees, and Peyton Manning before he left. Because no matter how many coverages you roll at us throughout the course of the game, I can pick it up instantaneously.
Now at the end of the day, no matter who the defense is, we’re going to play our bread-and-butter. When the rubber needs to meet the road, and the Giants as a team, they say ‘Jackrabbit, Rodgers-Cromartie, you gotta go lock down.’
So, I get it, Dez. Nobody is playing single coverage every single snap. But give that man some credit. He won.”