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Lofty Expectations

!Dez Bryant is just the third player taken at No. 24 in franchise history.


It helped that T.O. proved he could play when he got here. He put together a three-year stretch that no receiver in franchise history can touch. It helped that Terry Glenn was a playmaker, and the same goes for Keyshawn.

It didn't help that Pacman wasn't starting. He didn't get any interceptions and it certainly didn't help that he had yet another incident - even fighting off the help the Cowboys were providing - that caused him to get suspended and miss six games in his only season.

The point to all of this, you ask? With every one of those players, there is one single question that gets asked by everyone - owners, GMs, coaches, scouts, players, fans, media. Everyone.

Is this player really worth all of this?

Regardless of the answer - whether it's a yes, no, maybe or perhaps - the fact the question gets asked in the first place means they will be judged a little differently. Because if you look back, for all that Owens accomplished on the field, it never really was good enough for his critics. Glenn, Keyshawn and certainly Pacman never did enough.

So that's a little bothersome. Dez gets three catches for 41 yards in his first game, averages just 7.4 yards a punt return. What happens then? What if he goes a game without a catch?

You can see it now.

"What's all the fuss about? Jerry trades up and has to get this guy, and he only catches one pass today? He's a bust!"

Now granted, that's the case with every player. That's the case for all first-round picks, especially at wide receiver. But then again, don't forget the Cowboys are going to be grooming Dez along. They're not exactly throwing him in headfirst and saying "go win games for us."

Will he play? Of course, and he'll play significantly. But we've all heard Tony Romo answer the question too many times when he tells us he has no preferences. He doesn't look for any receiver, only the open ones. So making sure Bryant gets his catches every single game doesn't sound like a high priority. In fact, isn't it the reason one of these aforementioned players had problems in the first place?

All I'm saying is . . . we can't have it both ways. If you're fine with the Cowboys bringing him along slowly, and working him into an offense that already has Miles, Roy, Jason Witten and a three-headed monster at running back, then truly be fine with it.

When it's all said and done, the Cowboys firmly believe Bryant is going to be a superstar. But as it stands right at this moment, he may not get the chance to be a star. He might have some star-like catches or even superstar games.

But he also might not have enough chances to truly be a star just yet. Let's remember that before he gets blasted for it. We all know he's gotten ridiculed for just about everything else.

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