Since Dez Bryant was in college, his name has been associated with all the wrong reasons. Lying to NCCA investigators about working out with Deion Sanders, the comments made about his mother by Jeff Ireland, the amount of debt he has accumulated and his numerous faux pas. People are quick to judge these things and make comments about him. Off the field issues have been big pieces to the puzzle that is Dez Bryant. These incidents coupled with the perception that Dez has not lived up to his expectations, have many wondering will it ever all come together for him.
Bryant’s Talent can not be ignored. The 6’2 218 pound receiver can do magical things on the football field. He is quick, strong, a great athlete and posseses great hands. He makes some of the most majestic catches that you will ever see and then just turns into this physical beast that fights for every yard after the catch. With the ball in his hand, he is tough to tackle, very explosive and has good vision. His love for the game of football is clear and to be admired.
In just his second year in the league, Dez caught 63 passes for 928 yards. (Just 78 yards from the base goal of 1,000 yards for a receiver) He was tied for 6th in receiving TDS in the NFL last year and had a team best 17 receptions of over 20 yards and 48 first downs. Dez Bryant also had the second best Drop Rate in the entire NFL at 1.56. PFF had him registering one drop pass out of 64 catchable balls. What more can you expect out of a second year receiver? To stay healthy.
Dez Bryant has had some inuries that have sidelined him each year he has been here. Pulled hamstrings, fractured ankles, and a thigh bruise that affected him for the majority of last year. He would do great things, and then the next week get injured. For Dez Bryant to be the player that he wants to be, he has to be durable.
This was something that the original Play maker had to learn as well. So interesting that Michael Irvin is compared to Dez Bryant. Irvin did not become the player he was until he finally was able to stay healthy and step up in his fourth season. The previous three had him catching 78 receptions and 1445 yards receiving. This was an 18 yards per recption average. So even when he was hurt, he was dynamic and put up some good numbers. Dez has 108 receptions for 1489 yards in just two seasons. Dez has more yards and receptions in two years than Irvin had in three. The big difference is seeing what Irvin did when healthy to what Dez potentially can do. And even though Miles Austin and Jason Witten will be a big part of the Cowboys offense, so will Dez.
He also has to be consistent. Dez has said that he has become a better route runner and that his conditioning is better. In an interview with ESPNs Tim MacMahon Jones said that there are “things that he needs to work on, and we need to work on as a coaching staff, to get him the ball and get him into plays. When he would lose concentration in the last part of the game, I don’t know if that was because of conditioning. I suspect it could’ve been.”
Looking back at the film of last year, there were plays that Dez Bryant said he was not proud of. So with stroner film study, improved conditioning, and better route running Dez Bryant should be more consistent.
When you look at the old argument of production vs potential, Dez fits the mold perfectly. I have said before that when the player that Dez Bryant can be and the player he is meets, he will become one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL. For our offense to be as great as it can be, Dez Bryant has to take a big leap forward. He has to continue to do the little things to get better.
Even with his pants sagging down, ear rings dangling, and willingness to fight anyone who openly mocks him to his face(even one of the most popular rapper and his crew) Dez Bryant is perhaps just now coming into his own. This is the year he maintains his focus and performs like we all know that he can. He will let his game do the talking and will have the first great year of his career.