Dallas Cowboys News: How Dez Bryant's Arrest Affects The Cowboys Season

Tony Romo
For all the flack Romo gets from the media, he’s still been one of the most productive quarterbacks since entering the league. He has yet to make it to a Super Bowl, but he has the second best quarterback rating of all time at 96.9. Reuters

Dez Bryant is in trouble once again.

The Cowboys wide receiver was arrested on July 16 on a domestic violence charge for allegedly striking his mother. He faces up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine.

Now, the Dallas star has a legal battle and possible suspension coming as punishment.

ESPNDallas.com writer Todd Archer expects a one-game ban, but given Goodell's past dealings with misconduct, that number could go up to six or even eight games.

Goodell recently suspended multiple Saints players in light of the bounty scandal, including Jonathan Vilma, who will miss the entire 2012 season. There's a chance that Bryant will miss a significant amount of playing time.

If the Cowboys lose Bryant for an period of time, Tony Romo will have to adjust his game accordingly. After allowing Laurent Robinson to leave Dallas and sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cowboys are a bit thin in that area of the depth chart.

Bryant led the team in receiving first downs last year and Romo will be forced to spread the ball around with Kevin Ogletree occupying the spot behind Bryant on the depth chart. Ogletree had 15 catches (11 for first downs) last year, and failed to score all season. After that, it is a mixture of undrafted players and rookies that will be thrust into the spotlight.

In congruence with the recent NFL trends, Dallas can cover up the void that Bryant would leave by playing more two tight-end sets. The Cowboys have a dependable, 7-time Pro Bowler in Jason Witten, whose size and athleticism make him a big threat in the red zone.

One young player that could step up in Bryant's absence is Saalim Hakim. Hakim is an undrafted rookie and brother of former St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions receiver Az-Zahir Hakim.

One big factor that the Cowboys would lose from a Bryant imprisonment or suspension would be speed and athleticism. Hakim makes up for it with bountiful athletic talents, after being clocked at a 4.31 in the40-yard dash, many teams wanted to add his athleticism. Former Super Bowl winning coach Jim Fassel, while coaching the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives once said about Hakim, Once he gets going, he's as fast as anyone I've ever seen on the football field.

Hopefully Bryant will learn from his mistakes, and any ramifications for his recent misconduct will be small. If not, the Cowboys will be hard-pressed to find someone that can match his production.

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