Michael Irvin: Cowboys will be no better than 8-8 without Dez

Without Dez Bryant on the field, former Cowboys great Michael Irving thinks the team will do no better than 8-8.
Al Bello/Getty Images

By Jesse Reed

With the threat of an extended holdout looming, former Dallas Cowboys star wide receivier Michael Irvin has weighed in on the Dez Bryant contract situation.

And, not surprisingly, he’s squarely in Bryant’s corner.

As a guest of the “Rich Eisen Show” on CBS Sports, Irvin spoke candidly, as he is wont to do:

“Who really has the leverage here? You think you’re going on that football field without Dez Bryant? I was reading the articles today buddy. I was reading about how great Terrance Williams is doing. All that stuff is for Dez to read. It’s easy to do great in minicamp.

“But if you think you see better than 8-8 without Dez Bryant, I’m telling you, you will not see better than 8-8 without 88.”

Irvin is familiar with this type of standoff.

Remember, Emmitt Smith held out of training camp and the first two games of the 1993 NFL season because Jerry Jones played hardball with him about a new contract. The Cowboys started the season with a record of 0-2 without the Hall of Famer, and Jones caved to Smith’s demands.

Bryant is as important to the success of the Cowboys now as Smith was back then, and Irvin knows it. With 41 touchdown receptions the past three years, one could argue he has eclipsed Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green as the league’s premier receiver.

Could the Cowboys move the ball on offense without him?

Sure.

Quarterback Tony Romo is a seasoned veteran who could probably pass for 4,000 yards in his sleep.

But moving the ball between the 20s only gets you so far—it’s scoring in the red zone that wins games…and championships.

The All-Pro receiver has made his intentions known. If he doesn’t receive a contract before the deadline on July 15—that’s today, folks—then he’s going to hold out of preseason and even skip games until he signs the long-term contract he desires.

Dallas needs to take this threat seriously and pay the man what he’s clearly worth.

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