It’s been a long time since we saw Dez Bryant throw up the X in an NFL game. The current Ravens wide receiver was once considered one of the NFL’s best wideouts during his prime years with the Cowboys, but hadn’t played football since 2017. Some wondered if we’d seen the last of Bryant after his time away from the game, a career ending suddenly in a sport that isn’t often kind in terms of longevity.
Enter 2020. Bryant found a spot on the Ravens practice squad and eventually worked his way up to the Ravens main roster, but hadn’t been a major factor yet and had also yet to find the end zone. That is until Sunday’s contest against the Jaguars when Lamar Jackson, escaping pressure from the pocket, found a diving Bryant for a touchdown. He threw up the X and it was like we traveled three years into the past.
THROW UP THE X! @DezBryant TOUCHDOWN!
Tune in on CBS pic.twitter.com/dNfW19EKEB
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 20, 2020
This was a great moment for Bryant. Especially considering that he was threatening retirement after he was suddenly pulled from warmups ahead of the Ravens game against the Cowboys earlier this season due to what turned out to be a false positive COVID-19 test.
For some guys that really would be enough to retire. Getting yourself into game shape requires daily work and is a major strain on the body. A lot of times when players retire it’s not because they can’t perform, but because the work needed to be at that elite level is too much. It’s great that Bryant didn’t retire though, because we got to see him return to what he does best, catching touchdowns on Sunday. Where he goes from here? Who knows, but hopefully he gets to go out on his terms and if he wants to stick around awhile longer, he can continue showing he has value for teams.