Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant had the 11th fumble of his career on Sunday in the team’s win over their NFC rivals in the New York Giants, and Cowboys owner and General Manager/ruler of America’s Team Jerry Jones says he’d like to see Bryant work on the fundamentals of holding the football properly. Making it clear he would like to see his prized wide receiver, arguably the second best wideout in the game, break his pesky Tiki Barber-esque fumbling problem.
According to ProFootballTalk, Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that he likes the physical way Bryant takes on tacklers, but he wants to see Bryant hold the ball closer to his body when he’s breaking a tackle. A small fundamental change that is hard to be aware of for most players during the excitement of running with the football in live action.
“He’s violent when he’s got the ball,” Jones said. “He’s violent going after the ball. Consequently, he does need to have that ball in closer. He needs to fundamentally have it closer to his body.”
At the same time, Jones said he’ll gladly take all the good Bryant gives the Cowboys, even if it comes with the fumbles. Jones isn’t so sure that coaching is going to change the fact that Bryant finds himself in some hard collisions. Alluding to the fact that Bryant’s fumbles aren’t all the cause of carelessness, but more so the trappings of putting yourself into collisions with the ball on the line.
“A lot of this is a natural, physical way he plays football, and you’re not going to coach it out of him,” Jones said.
The Raiders will be hoping that Bryant’s fumble problems continue. Especially veteran safety Charles Woodson, who has already racked up a few important strips on opposing players in 2013. Bryant will have to be aware of where the Raiders secondary is at all times on Sunday, but at the same token the Raiders will likely have to be paying more attention to where Dez Bryant is running than Bryant will have to worry about holding onto the football on Sunday. At the moment Bryant is on the verge of being the undisputed “Best WR in football not named Calvin Johnson” nobody is giving him extra credit if he is fumbling the football and his owner, who has seen a lot of Hall of Fame talent in his day, knows that.