Gorden Tallis revealed a chat with Broncos board member Darren Lockyer that shines a light on former prodigy Tom Dearden’s fall from grace at Red Hill.
Dearden was considered a career player at the Broncos, before he joined the Cowboys mid-season to start a three and a half year deal that will take him through to the end of 2024.
The 20-year-old scored two tries in 22 games for the Broncos since his debut in 2019 and had one try and zero try assists in five games for Brisbane this season.
Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? > Get your 14-day free trial now & start streaming instantly >
Dearden received his first Cowboys jersey from the club’s legendary No.7 Johnathan Thurston, before dropping to a disappointing 50-18 defeat at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles.
“There is Johnathan Thurston and there is no better person to receive the Cowboys No.7 jersey from than him,” Tallis said on Fox League.
“It is a big moment for Tom Dearden. There was huge wraps on him. I remember talking to (Broncos board member) Darren Lockyer in the Qantas lounge a couple of years ago and he said this guy is our future.
“Well it hasn’t worked out for one reason or another and now Tommy Dearden is at another club. He gets his opportunity for the Cowboys.”
Tallis believes the Broncos’ struggles and the fact that Dearden found himself in and out of the Brisbane side has meant that his potential as an NRL halfback remains an unknown.
MORE NRL NEWS
‘DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO COUNT NUMBERS’: Dufty to mentor No.1 replacement
NO THANKS: Knights pull plug on Matt Lodge deal
‘BEEN THROUGH IT ALL’: Manly forward finally earns NRL debut after bumpy road
“We haven’t really seen and when you look at Tommy Dearden you don’t know what sort of halfback he is going to be yet because he hasn’t played enough and he hasn’t been dominant enough,” Tallis said.
“The Broncos were horrible last year and it would have been hard for that guy getting dominated.
“But he goes up to the Cowboys and he is playing behind a pretty dominant pack tonight, so let us hope we see the best of Tommy.”
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!
Greg Alexander believes the wraps on Dearden could have been a burden for a young halfback trying to prove himself at a club that struggled as much as the Broncos have over the last three seasons.
“There is enormous wraps on him so you keep thinking there has to be something there,” Alexander said.
“I don’t know if we saw it because maybe the reviews were too high. They maybe rated him too highly and he might not live up to it.
“But the fact the Broncos have struggled so much while he has been their young halfback certainly couldn’t have helped.
“I guess we will find out over the next half of this season and next season whether he is going to be as good as the Broncos thought he would become.”
Braith Anasta believes Cowboys five-eighth Scott Drinkwater’s game could be the perfect foil for Dearden and their combination could develop strongly in the back half of the year.
“It is a big moment getting the jersey from JT,” Anasta said.
“Drinkwater has been in really good form and he is a runner of the footy so I think he may form a really good partnership with Dearden.”