Why Dallas Should Push for Reggie Bush
In our original Draft Needs article we profiled the top five Cowboys’ offseason positional needs. Heading that list was a playmaking return man. While the Cowboys could benefit from getting younger at a few spots (LT, ILB), there are no major weaknesses among the 22 offensive and defensive starting positions.
The same cannot be said for both the punt and kick returner spots, whose impact on a football game can be overwhelming. The Cowboys ranked sixth in punt return average (10.9 yards per return) with Patrick Crayton receiving the bulk of the work, but that average was largely skewed by two return touchdowns. It is tough to say whether or not the Cowboys still would have scored had another returner been back deep, but either way it is quite easy to notice that Crayton lacks the quickness and burst an elite punt returner generally possesses.
The kick return combination was comprised of two young players whose impact on offense has been greater than that in the return game: Felix Jones and Kevin Ogletree. Felix in particular has obviously shown uncanny acceleration and quickness on offense, but his mindset on kick returns has not been comparable. He appeared hesitant and unwilling to stick his nose into traffic, and it resulted in the Cowboys ranking just 20th in the league in kick return average at 22.0 yards per return.
Dallas obviously felt uneasy about both return positions after week five, when they signed return specialist Allen Rossum. Rossum got hurt on his first return against Atlanta and subsequently released, but the point was made. Perhaps this turn of events gave Crayton the motivation he needed to pick up his game, but we still maintain Dallas’ two return touchdowns were more a result of excellent blocking than Crayton’s ability to create plays.
There are definitely capable return guys in the draft, making that an option for the ‘Boys, but why take the chance you do not get who you want? This team is a few game-breaking plays away from becoming a Super Bowl team, and current Saints’ slash player Reggie Bush has a proven track record in the role of “game-breaker.” Who remembers this Monday-nighter two seasons ago when Bush’s return abilities completely changed the landscape of the contest?
Can anyone honestly say that those are plays that Patrick Crayton is capable of making? Crayton has above-average vision and is a safe option, but safe does not win championships.
The most common criticism we have been receiving when discussing the possibility of obtaining Bush is that the team is already stacked at running back and does not need, or have room, to sign another. Those concerns are absolutely justified, but not necessarily a problem because Reggie is more than just a running back (perhaps not even a running back at all). In fact, the Cowboys, in our opinion, would still receive a proper return on their investment if they used Bush solely as a returner.
The former USC star’s ability extends far beyond returning, however, so his impact would not be limited to just special teams. He has shown the ability to line up out wide and make plays in the passing game, maybe even more so than when he lines up in the traditional running back spot. Perhaps the Saints used Reggie incorrectly. He is not a running back. He is an athlete, a playmaker.
Thus, we propose that the Cowboys do everything possible to acquire Reggie Bush. He would basically take the spot of the aging Crayton, but with more versatility. Imagine it now: #25, Cowboys punt returner, kick returner, slot receiver, running back, water boy, mascot, PLAYMAKER, REGGIE BUSH! He can do it all.
Of course, all of this is contingent on the Saints releasing Bush. Impossible? There were talks about Bush’s release months ago already, so it remains to be seen whether his improved playoff play will result in his stay in New Orleans. The Saints will likely ask Bush to take a pay cut, as he is due $8 million next season. If he does not accept and hits the open market, there should be no player higher on the Cowboys’ wish list.
And for those who are not yet on board, remember, the Kardashian sisters come as a package deal.