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Four Reasons the Dallas Cowboys Should Sign Reggie Bush

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Jonathan Bales

Around this time last year, I published an article detailing why the Cowboys should have signed Reggie Bush in the offseason.  Well, my thoughts haven’t really changed.  Here’s why Bush would be a valuable asset to Dallas.

4.  He may not cost anything (other than money, of course).

Bush is due $10.5 million this season in New Orleans.  There’s no way he’ll be receiving that much money, so if he doesn’t take a pay cut, he’ll take a play cut <—see what I did there?

Bush has said he wants to remain a Saint, but who knows how his contract restructuring will turn out?  If the Saints are forced to release Bush, the Cowboys won’t need to surrender a draft pick to acquire him.

Plus, it isn’t like Bush is going to break the bank.  I do think NFL teams realize his value to a team more so than the average fan, but with the current labor situation and Bush’s lack of production during his career thus far, he could be had for cheap.  Bush’s stock is lower than ever, meaning now is the time to “buy.”

3.  He opens up big play opportunities for other players.

Bush never puts up jaw-dropping numbers, but that’s because defenses key in on him so much, forcing the ball to go elsewhere (yes, NFL coaches game plan for Bush, not Lance Moore or Devery Henderson).

His presence in the Dallas backfield would undoubtedly create running lanes for the other backs (if they are on the field together) and open up passing lanes over the middle of the field.

2.  He can play the slot.

When I argued the Cowboys should sign Bush last season, those against the idea (which was almost all of you) claimed there simply wasn’t enough room in the Dallas backfield, especially for another runner looking to bounce outside.

The biggest reason the Cowboys’ current running back situation is irrelevant to the potential signing of Bush is that he isn’t really a running back.  He’s an athlete who can be utilized at tailback, wide receiver, and, most importantly for Dallas, in the slot.

One of the largest weaknesses of Jason Garrett’s offense is the lack of a Wes Welker-type slot receiver.  You may have noticed Garrett’s version of the spread offense features a lot of short throws (and not just because Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee were at quarterback this season), but the Cowboys don’t really possess the personnel for that to consistently work.  Miles Austin is pretty quick for a wide receiver and excellent after the catch, but he’s no Reggie Bush.  Dez Bryant and Roy Williams are both downfield threats as well, not players who can effectively run the smash, jerk, and angle routes at which Bush excels (and with which the Cowboys could improve their third down conversion rate).

1.  He’s a dominating returner.

All of this is awesome, but the primary reason Bush would fit in well in Dallas is his return ability.  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?

Bryan McCann is a nice option on returns.  Akwasi Owusu-Ansah has potential.  The Cowboys don’t need ‘nice’ though.  They don’t need potential.  They need a game-breaker, and with Dez Bryant’s offensive prowess too great to justify using him on returns, the answer is the player who has consistently been labeled a “bust” since entering the league.

Bring this bust to Dallas, and let him bust a few long touchdowns for a team in desperate need of a game-changing returner.

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9 Responses to Four Reasons the Dallas Cowboys Should Sign Reggie Bush

  1. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    I would have to agree – but doubt seriously that NO is just going to cut him while owing him so much $. They’ll either work to restructure or will keep him on the team at the current salary and try and convince him to work more like a traditional RB.

    But, if the skies part, the sun shines down on God’s favorite team located in the heart of Arlington, Tx, then by all means sign him. That would predicate cutting Roy Williams and moving Dez to the #2 WR spot. Also, it would probably mean either Hurd, Holley or some other WR and/or PR/KR specialist (like McCann or AOA) hits the road as well. Personally, I think McCann can be Newman’s replacement w/ some coaching so he needs to stay. AOA might be better than Ball at FS (not hard to do) so he stays. Holley or Teddy Williams needs to go.

    Bush would be the IDEAL 3rd RB.

  2. john coleman says:

    If we cut Barber and can get him for about half of Barber’s salary, maybe. As a returner I would agree. If he can actually be intigrated into the game as a slot WR, I agree. As far as his candydonkey being a real football player, ha. Has the guy ever played a whole season, even in a part time role? Now we are willing to dole out cash. Still, NO THANKS.

    IMO he doesn’t fit what I believe is going to be a major objective, BEING MORE PHYSICAL.

    I agree with the need of a true slot guy. However with our past use of the offensive players that are avaiable, how many catches are there for a slot WR?

    I also don’t like our current options in the return game. I do think Bryant for sure and hopefully McCann/Ansah figure in our regular schemes.

    TJ-I still have hope for T. Williams on the defensive side of the ball. Of course, I haven’t seen him on offense. As far as Holley goes he is and will always be a role player.

  3. beWARE says:

    I wouldn’t be opposed to that idea assuming he is available and is “cheap” to a degree. 
    I agree, him as a punt returner would be awesome…wouldn’t have to have Dez out there…although I’m not opposed to Dez doing punts. We need a return weapon.
    I would like McCann to stay the KR.  He didn’t look comfortable as a PR.

    The only thing i’m not sure about is weather he would be cheap…I agree that he has had low production and that would lower the cost but I can imagine a team or two (Raiders/Skins) that would overpay and inflate the cost of getting him.  Al Davis loves speed. I don’t want to get in a bidding war for him.

  4. Vince_Grey says:

    JB, I don’t disagree with you much, but here I do.

    I’m not saying Bush is completely useless, but:

    – The Reggie Bush we see today, clearly, is not the ultra explosive guy we saw 2-3 years ago. This season, before and after his injury, I saw a player just a tad slower than he once was, and speed is just about all that RB bring’s to the table anyway.

    – The Seattle game was Bush’s time to step up and shine as a true tailback/running back. Instead, up against a decidedly below average Seahawk D, Reggie showed NOTHING. Absolutely no power at all. Dexter McCluster, who’s several inches shorter and 30-40 pounds lighter, runs with far more power and drive than Bush. RB is purely a finesse player, a slotback/wingback who’s only good for screens, the occasional deeper pass, and maybe a draw play here and there.

    – I don’t think teams game plan for him much anymore. Even if they do, you can only go the “decoy” route so often before some DC says, “Let’s see if this guy can beat us straight up”. I think that happened a lot last season, and I don’t think he made anyone pay.

    – Even as a punt returner, the Saints often used Lance Moore back there because he had better hands and was less likely to fumble. That’s just sad.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like they guy. He was awesome in college, and had some big games in the pros at times, and he nailed Kim Kardashian, who’s a serious babe. (IMO, most Hollywood honey’s are too skinny and covered with skanky porn ho tats, but that’s a topic for another day.) BUT, there’s no way I’d pay any kind of serious cheese for him. I wouldn’t take Reggie unless the contract was VERY team friendly, and on rep alone, some team will blow him away with a big signing bonus, so it’s all a moot point anyway.

    I agree we need a player LIKE that, but not RB at his inflated prices and lack of true production.

  5. Michael says:

    Bush drops way too many passes and is too inconsistent for me to jump on board. I think teams game plan based on Bush’s potential rather than his production. He can make a couple of plays a game and causes tons of match-up problems, and while I agree the ‘Boys need a slot receiver/athlete, I still don’t think he’s the Wes Welker-type guy that can help Dallas.

    Additionally, Garrett and Sean Payton are light years apart when it comes to game planning, exploiting match-ups, maximizing talent and game-day playcalling–I think a lot of Bush’s success can be attributed to Payton’s creativity and aggressiveness. Garrett is so rigid in his offensive philosophy and hasn’t shown the acumen to tailor his system to the talent at his disposal.

  6. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Vince – your stock just rose 500% IMO. Kim Kardashian is one of the HOTTEST babes in Hollywood. RB hasn’t been the same since he’s not been affiliated w/ her (perhaps coincidence, perhaps there is some correlation). The skinny tatted up chicks are what you see a lot and presented by mainstream media as the “it” women, but whenever you look at a FHM, Maxim or even a porn magazine, it’s always someone w/ hips and ass. Again, a topic for another day…

    I think we all agree that Dallas needs a versatile guy on O. I’d go one further and mention that guy should be just as good at tackling as he is at catching/running (al la Woodhead). I stated in a post a few topics ago about a few guys who might be worth looking into in later rounds:

    Damaris Johnson – Tulsa; Jerrel Jernigan – Troy; Randall Cobb – Kentucky are some offensive standout/all purpose contributors

    Owen Marecic – Standford, played as fullback and linebacker all year. He scored a rushing TD and an interception TD vs Notre Dame. Received the Paul Hornung Award.

    Reggie Rembert – Air Force, played primarily as a CB and performed well. Also had stints at RB and WR.

    Overall, the Boys need a do it all type – especially on special teams return and coverage teams. RB is not it but as a 3rd RB and KR/PR, he’s ideal. Just depends on the cost.

  7. Tyrone–No problem here with cutting Holley/Williams for Bush! haha

    JC–I think there could be plenty of balls for Bush if Garrett made it a priority to get him the ball. 4 or 5 runs a game and the same number of catches, plus returns, would be plenty for Bush to have an impact. How about JG just replaces all the useless quick screens and strong side dives with plays to Bush?

    beWare–I totally agree. He isn’t worth big bucks, but if he can be had more a medium-sized contract, I love it.

  8. Vince–I actually don’t think Bush will get a huge contract or bonus. Maybe incentive-laden, but probably still too rich for your blood anyway, judging by your thoughts on him. Maybe I’m just being a sucker for athleticism over production, but every time I watch him I see explosiveness and big-play potential. I still have a hard time believing this guy, one year, isn’t going to just explode. And I do still think his impact on a defense even when he doesn’t touch the ball is greater than the average back/slot WR.

    Tyrone–Agree TOTALLY with you and Vince about Kardash. Glad you guys are on board. . .the skinny, no butt actresses just aren’t getting it done for me.

  9. Michael–That’s a tremendous point about the Garrett/Payton distinction. It’s one thing to have a playmaker, and another to have a coordinator who can get him the ball in high-percentage situations. Do we have that? I don’t know yet.

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