I want you to do yourself a favor when it comes to making a premature judgement on how Dez Bryant could possibly fit into a Saints' offense that, from a pure production standpoint, doesn't seem as though it offers enough opportunities for a risk-matching reward to an aging, temperamental wideout who, in the past, has shown himself unreliable in route running and receiving.
I want you to temporarily torture yourself by thinking back to this past Monday night and the relatively hard to watch primetime game in which Dak Prescott's stagnation as a franchise quarterback was made clear by going up against Marcus Mariota, of all people. I want you think back to the blankness of the look you saw on the face of Jason Garrett as the camera scanned the sidelines to find the Cowboys' coach once again putting his hands together instead of putting the pieces of his broken offense together. I don't want to let Dez Bryant completely off the hook, as he is noticeably in decline as a player who relied heavily on his athleticism early in his career. However, the Coach/QB tandem from which he was released, while existing in the NFL, simply isn't of the same league and/or playing the same sport as the one he'd be joining in New Orleans, and at least half of that tandem has the self-awareness to know it...
Not all the problems that existed towards the end of Bryant's days in Dallas can be solved by the most refreshing of scenery change, but both a roster that's built to take him on as a humbled player and a locker room that's built to take him in as a proud personality sure can make those problems seem less pronounced. Dez definitely isn't who Dez thinks he is at this point of his career, but if he was waiting for an opportunity to be a shit-stirring starter than a small, midseason offer from a selfless team like the Saints isn't the one he would have accepted. We wouldn't have learned whether or not the following was true of Dez while he was in Dallas, but assholes have a way of altering their attitude when winning a championship is a legitimate possibility.
New Orleans has a #1 receiver, and they don't even really need a #2 receiver. They just want someone who brings an otherwise absent skill-set to a banged up position that lacks proven depth, and the brilliant braintrust that capped off a 7-game win streak with a 45 point performance over one of the top teams in the league will figure out the rest along the way. It's not up to idiots like us to carve out a complimentary role for Dez Bryant. It's up to the constantly scheming and endlessly creative coach that turned a back-up clipboard carrier into the type of weapon that coordinators see piercing their playbook in their nightmares. I think he can make some room for the extensive resume of a competitive player amongst a receiver room in which all of one player has more than 12 catches on the season.
Again, it's both impossible and disingenuous to completely separate the struggles of the Dallas Cowboys and the enigmatic playmaker they deemed expendable from an already impotent offense, but - as Ted Ginn Jr. proved last year - an accurate, catchable ball makes a world of difference to players with otherwise suspect hands. Simply put, at that stage of sensational season, Sean Payton wouldn't bring in Dez Bryant simply because his name is Dez Bryant. He clearly sees something in him, which isn't all that surprising as his size, strength, and leaping ability weren't the cause of his decline. Whether the fit will be a good one remains to be seen, but if there is an organizational culture that values a little piss & vinegar, doesn't mind throwing up the 'X' at the critics, and can pull off just about any look offensively then it's that of the New Orleans Saints.